Undergoing surgery to correct pain is not quite like using a flamethrower to kill a housefly, but it’s pretty close. If your doctor has identified a biological reason for the pain that surgery can correct, like back or heart surgery, that is obviously a different story.
Much the same logic applies to opioid pain relievers. If the discomfort is short term, perhaps injury related, powerful pain relievers may be just what the doctor ordered. But chronic pain requires a different approach, because these pills are simply too addictive.
Yes, you read that right. Medical marijuana is legal in most Western and Northeastern states, but the laws in most of these states are very restrictive. Furthermore, any marijuana possession is still a federal crime, and new Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sent some messages that the Justice Department may enforce these laws more vigorously than before. So, tread lightly.
In a recent poll, 60 percent of Americans said that marijuana was safer and more effective for pain relief than opioids or alcohol, at least for most people.
Although it looks a little like shock therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is proven to reduce pain in many people suffering from conditions like:
Chronic inflammation; and
Some researchers theorize that the mild electrical shocks disrupt pain transmissions from the nerve endings to the brain, while others speculate that the treatment releases endorphins.
TENS therapy is usually a good non-addictive muscle relaxer as well.
There are a lot of good portable kits available with long-lasting batteries and easy-to-use electrodes. Here are some of the best portable TENS units. The one that’s best for you is customized for a certain part of the body, discreet, and easily transportable.
Because it gently works muscles and improves mood, several studies have established a link between yoga and pain relief. Many times, people experience pain because their nerves are compressed, and yoga strengthens the muscles around the nerves while helping to restore proper balance and posture. And, it just makes sense that people who are in a good mood feel less pain and need less medication.
As with any pain management program, expectations are important. Yoga probably does not mean that you can throw away your pills, but it will make it easier to get through the day. This video has a few good poses. Don’t bother trying to pronounce the names.
You truly are what you eat. The foods you consume can make you sick and they can also heal you. Although many people scoff at the idea that some herbs have healing powers, if nothing else, using them falls into the “it can’t hurt” category, because natural herbs have essentially no side effects.
Willow Bark: These herbs contain high salicin levels, so in many ways, they are chemically similar to aspirin. Most people brew them in tea.
Turmeric: The stuff in curry has high antioxidant levels, making it ideal for many chronic conditions. Turmeric also has some anti-inflammatory properties.
Cloves: Anything that can relieve this kind of pain deserves a second look.
Other possible pain-killing herbs include ginger and ginseng.
Just a few quick jaunts around the block reduces back pain for many people. Walking improves everyday functions, like bending over to tie shoes or sitting for prolonged periods. Furthermore, walking releases endorphins, which have the same effect as opioid pain relievers. This time, however, the addictive quality is probably a good thing.
The only way to find out if these things work is to try them out for yourself, so try one or two or more and see what happens next.