All people experience pain at one point or another. Sometimes the pain is acute and goes away quickly, but in other instances, it is chronic or persistent. The intensity of pain also varies from mild to severe and can sometimes be unbearable. The first thing that people do when they are dealing with pain is to take medications hoping they can eliminate it or at least make the pain bearable. While medications can help, there are other important ways to manage pain. If you’ve ever wondered whether you can alleviate pain without medications you came to the right place.
Modern lifestyle is incredibly hectic and stressful. As much as we try it is impossible to avoid stress, but many people make the mistake of waiting for it to go away on its own. When left unmanaged, stress can disturb your sleep, impair energy levels and productivity – but most importantly, it can also make it difficult for you to manage your pain. Studies show that higher stress levels are closely associated with higher pain intensity. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do to alleviate pain is to find a way to manage your stress. While you can’t avoid stress, there’s a lot you can do to relax, which in turn will also reduce your pain. The choice of stress-relieving activity depends on you. Do what you find relaxing – read a book, draw, or walk – the important part is to carve a time to relax every day.
Biofeedback is defined as a mind-body technique wherein patients learn to modify their physiology in order to improve mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. This technique trains people to improve their health by controlling bodily processes that occur involuntarily such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and others. The three most commonly used forms of biofeedback therapy are electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle tension, thermal biofeedback to measure skin temperature, and neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG) to track wave activity. Studies show that biofeedback can alleviate the intensity of pain, decrease the use of medications, improve your quality of life, and it reduces the frequency of symptoms and pain you experience.
Deep breathing has a number of health benefits. For example, it helps you alleviate stress and helps you deal with panic attacks. But, did you know you can use a deep breathing technique to reduce the intensity of pain? Yes, it’s a scientifically proven fact! A group of scientists from Germany carried out a study wherein patients practiced deep breathing while their pain threshold was monitored. Results showed that deep breathing reduced the severity of pain compared to the subjects from the control group. Deep breathing requires more practice than you think. Take a normal breath first and then start taking slow, deep breaths. Make sure the air coming in through the nose should move down into the lower belly. Allow your stomach to expand fully and breathe out through your mouth. Go one step further by alternating normal and deep breaths several times. Do this when you’re in pain, feeling stressed out, and make it a useful manner of relaxation.
Meditation and yoga
Yoga and meditation fit perfectly into a healthy lifestyle and holistic approach toward pain management. They usually go hand in hand which is why we’re going to discuss them together as well. Most people who meditate also start practicing yoga, and vice versa. Yoga combines various postures or asanas and deep breathing which is why it’s a perfect relaxation method for patients who deal with pain. Studies confirm the efficacy of yoga in pain relief due to a number of reasons. For example, yoga practice decreases metabolism, stabilizes blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, improves breathing, lowers heart rate, and slows brain wave pattern all of which would make your pain more intense. If you deal with pain, especially chronic, yoga and meditation could give you the relief that you’re looking for. It’s needless to mention they help manage stress. In addition, yoga keeps you fit without harming your joints.
A person who doesn’t like to listen to music doesn’t exist. Everyone has a favorite music genre, favorite songs or artists. We listen to our playlists on a daily basis to relax (remember, stress could also aggravate your pain), but we also turn to music when we’re bored, sad, happy, you name it. It is a little-known fact that music therapy can be helpful for patients who deal with pain. For instance, one study found that inclusion of music therapy in the routine care of patients with neuropathic pain could lower pain intensity. In order to get the maximum out of this approach, you can consider consulting a music therapist who will help you learn how to fully listen to music that means something to you and engage the brain to overcome the perception of pain. Music therapy can also include songwriting, playing an instrument, and singing.
It’s easy to joke and say chiropractors are not real doctors and we see those jokes all the time in sitcoms, but they are amazing professionals who can help you deal with pain more effectively. In fact, chiropractic care is not considered a weird alternative medicine trend anymore, it has become mainstream. One study found that patients in chiropractic care group experienced better outcomes in pain and disability than their counterparts in a pain clinic. Chiropractic care involves spinal manipulation where a licensed and certified chiropractor helps you decrease pain and improve range of motion in a natural manner. That happens because this type of treatment focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure and its function. Schedule an appointment at a chiropractor’s office and see what they can do for you.
You don’t always have to pop a pill when dealing with pain. In fact, a combination of medications and other approaches could help you reduce the intensity and frequency of the pain you feel. As seen throughout this post, there are many things you can do to reduce pain without drugs. Feel free to try them out or consult your doctor for the best approach.