Each day more than 100 people die from opioid overdose and the victims are not who you may suspect them to be. They often start out using medications prescribed by a doctor for an injury or chronic issue, but the debilitating and frustrating effects of pain often lead to the misuse of these medications. In addition, physicians and patients alike often overlook the non-pharmacologic alternatives to pain medication. So in honor of September being National Pain Awareness Month, here are some natural pain relief options that are both inexpensive and extremely effective.
Deep Tissue Massage- Massage is a technique and medical treatment for pain and muscle injury that has been used long before medications were developed. Massage increases blood flow to inflamed tissue, helps stimulate recovery, and provides localized pain relief without side effects. Using an at home, hand-held massager, like the Wahl Deep Tissue Massager, can acutely relieve pain. The high-penetration massage attacks muscle pain that hides below the surface, and it’s powerful enough to treat large muscle groups or pin-pointed problem areas. The other benefit is you can easily do this from the comfort of your own home while resting, watching TV, or even right before sleep. If you are already taking medications for pain, this may be an option to help you cut down on the amount of medication you need.
Turmeric- A potent anti-inflammatory, you can now find Turmeric in many places, even some unexpected ones. Turmeric is a root that looks similar to ginger, but it is orange inside. It has several healing properties and can be taken in both capsule and raw form. The anti-inflammatory nature of Turmeric aids in joint pain, muscle aches, and wound healing. The yellow colored powder can be found in Indian, Thai, and other South Asian cuisine. If you’re not a fan of the taste, add it to a fruit and protein smoothie and you’ll barely taste it or consider a capsule.
Deep breathing/meditation- Meditation and breathing are powerful mechanisms for pain management. While it might not seem like it on the surface, learning to meditate has powerful and remarkable qualities. Meditation doesn’t have to be challenging and you can go at your own pace. Try an app like Headspace, it is free for the first 10 days and easy to follow. What this helps you with is refocusing your energy not on pain, but on a deeper level to relax and feel uplifted. Similarly, deep breathing is also emphasized during many meditation sessions because becoming aware of your breathing helps manage pain and provides you a way to handle it without medication.
Acupuncture- The National Institute of Health (NIH) has reviewed several studies and suggests that acupuncture works well on chronic pain, particularly back and neck pain and osteoarthritis pain. Acupuncture is the practice of applying pressure, very fine/thin needles and sometimes heat to specific areas of the body to improve pain, trigger healing, and also help release endorphins that can improve pain.
What is your pain story? Do you have a technique that helped you? Tweet me @shilpiMD or @everydayhealth
Posted by Dr. Shilpi (EverydayHealth.com)
Original Article can be found at https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/easy-options-pain-relief/?nocache=true
Original Publish Date 8/20/2018