Finding the best way to relieve pain – or chronic pain – can take a lot of work and trial and error. Not everyone has access to prescribed medications, which is why people look for other ways to alleviate the symptoms.
Chronic pain impacts more than just that area of the body: It can create pressure and pain in other areas, impact a patient’s social life, their ability to work, and jeopardize their mental health.
This article will highlight six ways to manage chronic pain in the hope to help those suffering get more out of each day.
Physical chronic pain management
Physical therapy & acupuncture
We’ve all seen acupuncture in films and thought, ‘how can needles in the back be relaxing?!’ Well, unsurprisingly, there’s a method behind the madness. Acupuncture practitioners place the needles at precise points on the body to relieve pain in the short term. It can help with relaxation, muscle spasms, and inflammation though there is little evidence to prove it works as a long-term remedy.
Physical therapy aims to tackle pain on a more long-term basis using gentle stretch exercise plans to relax and strengthen areas of the body.
Hot and cold therapy
Using an ice pack on an inflamed area is common practice. The cold can reduce blood flow and keeps inflammation at bay. A hot water bottle on the area can also help to relax the muscles and promote healing.
Using the two together can be a great way to relieve chronic pain, though carrying a hot water bottle and ice pack around could be quite tricky…
Psychological chronic pain management
As chronic pain can significantly impact a patient’s mental health, there are signs to suggest that a psychological approach to the pain could relieve symptoms.
CBT – Cognitive behavioural therapy – has been found to be a positive and effective way to reduce the anxiety around the pain, which in turn can make it more manageable.
Tai Chi involves slow and continuous movements that are then combined with relaxation and breathing. The activity is gentle on the joints and muscles but can help patients improve stability, strength, and mood. According to Scientific Reports, Tai Chi has shown improvements in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
Drugs for chronic pain management
Opioids are often prescribed for moderate or severe pain on a short-term basis as they can be highly addictive.
On the other hand, according to the US National Library of Medicine, cannabis has been used for thousands of years to relieve pain. Although research into the treatment is scarce, the benefits seem to come from the way it impacts the endocannabinoid system, rather than relieving the pain itself.
Despite the lack of research, many people are using products from Platinum CBD UK, to potentially help with things like insomnia, anxiety, and pain.
Some antidepressants like Amitriptyline have been prescribed at a low dose to chronic pain patients suffering from things like fibromyalgia. As with all antidepressants, however, the effects are often not noticed for a few weeks.
These six techniques for managing pain will work in different ways for everyone. If your pain persists, it is always recommended to check in with your GP.