As we learn more about the highly addictive nature of prescription pain medications, many people are looking for alternatives. This has led to the discovery that certain practices can help manage chronic pain and, in some cases, these methods are more beneficial to the patient. In addition to alleviating pain, these practices won’t deliver the same adverse side effects as opiates and other pain-relieving drugs.

Increase Your Physical Activity

Doctors, physical therapists, and fitness experts agree that exercise will help alleviate chronic pain through regular workouts. In addition to building muscle to help us resist pain, exercise also helps by forcing the brain to release endorphins. These are “feel good” neurotransmitters that combat the messages that pain receptors deliver to the brain. Even if you feel too much pain to move, starting slowly with a simple walk can be enough to alleviate your pain.

CBD Oil is an Emerging Pain Remedy

While many are still asking what is CBD oil, many chronic pain patients are already familiar with the product. Even before research began to suggest that the oil reacts positively with brain receptors and in strengthening the immune system, chronic pain patients were using it as a treatment for their conditions. When CBD oil interacts with pain receptors, it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. this means it addresses the cause of the pain instead of simply masking or hiding the pain.

Take a Hot Bath

Another effective method is what is commonly referred to as warm water therapy and it essentially involves taking a hot bath or spending time in a hot tub if one is accessible. A hot Epsom salt bath works in two ways. First, it helps reduce anxiety and gives the individual a sense of peace. Second, the heat soothes chronic pain, such as that associated with back spasms and neck pain. Alternatively, cold water is best, when inflammation is involved. While heat will increase inflammation, cold water or ice works to soothe inflammation and reduce swelling.

Try Massage Therapy

Among the most common natural ways to treat pain, massage therapy is rising in popularity. In addition to relaxing the mind, a therapeutic massage helps to increase blood flow throughout the body. As blood flows more freely, it assists in the healing of soft tissue, which helps alleviate chronic pain and pain caused by one-time injuries. A massage also compels the brain to release endorphins, so pain can also be minimized in that way. Research is limited in measuring the effectiveness in treating pain, however. Some individuals have had to try a number of different massage techniques, before finding the one that works best for them.

Meditation Works to Treat Pain

Many people are finding that regular meditation is helping them soothe their chronic pain. When you meditate, your mind enters a mild trance that helps reduce anxiety and stress. Heightened stress levels have been found to cause inflammation in the body, so alleviating stress reduces that swelling. While the effectiveness of regular meditation on alleviating pain can’t be measured, many people report that it does help control pain. Even if it doesn’t help you control pain, it will still relax your body and reduce your stress levels, which is an important benefit in itself.

While pain medications can provide more instantaneous relief, they also deliver harmful and long-lasting side effects. Alternatively, employing one or more of these methods can help you alleviate your pain without subjecting you to addiction and the other side effects caused by drugs. Employing non-chemical ways of reducing pain will help you stay healthier, more energetic, and more alert, which is why so many people are starting to turn away from pain medications today.

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Sara T. Loving

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