Alternatives to Prescription Meds for Pain Management

Alternatives to Prescription Meds for Pain Management
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When you have certain medical conditions, have undergone major surgery, or were recently injured, pain tends to be the common complaint. Prescription medications tend to be the number one solution provided by doctors to their patients. In recent times, however, due to ineffectiveness, expense, and increased risk of dependency and addiction from prescription meds, patients living with chronic pain are looking to alternative solutions to find relief. 

The good news is there are plenty of alternative measures you can try to soothe or even eliminate your pain. The following is just a few remedies you might consider trying: 

Massage Therapy

There are several contributing factors to chronic pain that massage therapy can help treat including stress, tension, inflammation, and poor circulation. Regular massages, particularly in areas where you experience the most pain can help to loosen up tight muscles, reduce inflammation, and restore proper blood flow throughout the body. Massage therapy can also help to reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. A regular massage at a local parlor or at home using massage devices can dramatically reduce your pain. 

CBD

You may have heard of CBD for athletes but it is becoming a commonly used pain management solution for people in all capacities. Cannabidiol better known as CBD is a chemical compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. It is a non-psychoactive, legal product that is often used to treat pain. Though studies on this power substance are still new, it is believed that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. It has the ability to block inflammatory agents relieving feelings of tingling, burning, sharpness, or numbness in the body. You can take CBD orally, topically, or using a vape on a regular basis to manage chronic pain. 

Meditation

Increased levels of stress not only cause pain but it can intensify existing pain. For those looking to better manage their chronic pain, finding ways to relieve stress is imperative. One effective solution is through meditation. Meditation is best defined as a set of techniques used to clear the mind and relax the body. You can practice this at home or join a yoga class. All you need is a quiet space and some soothing music. Focusing only on your breath and positive thoughts, breathe deeply in and out for several minutes. This takes your mind off the pain and reduces cortisol, the hormone known to elevate stress levels. 

Aquatic Therapy

You’d be surprised how being submerged in water can help to ease your pain. Aquatic therapy is a pain management alternative often used by physical therapists for patients suffering from chronic pain such as arthritis, back pain, muscle injuries, fibromyalgia, and more. There are three essential reasons why this method of therapy works. 

The first is buoyancy. When submerged in the water the weight and pressure on your muscles and joints are lifted, therefore, reducing your pain and improving your range of motion. The second is hydrostatic pressure which is the pressure applied to your body by the water. This pressure eases swelling and helps to apply resistance which is necessary to strengthen your muscles, joints, heart, and lungs. Last, is thermal stability which is the warmth of the water which helps to improve blood flow and promote healthy healing. 

You can go to a physical therapist to receive aquatic therapy or you can do it yourself at home. Draw yourself a warm bath or hop in your pool and float around. You can also add things like Epsom salt or essential oils to help with the healing process. 

Drink Water

Now here’s a simple pain management solution that you probably didn’t think of – drinking water. Water is essential for overall health but can be especially helpful to those suffering from joint pain. The body uses water to lubricate the joints. When you’re not getting enough water, your joints rub together creating friction which increases your pain. Start drinking at least half your body weight (in ounces) of water each day. It may seem like a lot, but you can gradually work your way up to this goal. Adding fruit to your water can help with the taste. 

No one wants to live with pain, but the reality is that millions of Americans suffer from medical conditions and other issues that cause significant, ongoing pain. With prescription medications having harsh side effects, addictive properties, and higher costs, looking to alternative solutions such as those described above is essential to ease your pain. 


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