Depending on where you draw the line in the sand, alternative pain management can be considered any form of pain treatment that does not come in the form of a pill. This may be a question answered differently by each person, but pain medication has become the established norm in modern times. In the United States alone, concurrent with a frightening rise in medication addictions, prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone – two prominent opioid medications – reached 76 billion pills from 2006 through 2012, according to data revealed during a class action lawsuit. That’s 232 pills for every man woman and child in the country – enough for 38.7 pills per person per year – and that’s only two compounds sold on the market today.
For that reason, alternative pain management includes some very basic remedies that have stood up to the test of time. These include ice packs, warm compresses, stretching exercises, and several others. Alternative pain medicine isn’t flaky medicine. Sometimes, it’s just practical, cheap, portable techniques that are often overlooked because people reach for pills first. Practitioners of holistic medicine see this differently. Alternative choices reduce the need for pharmaceutical options. They also put your body to work, which creates opportunities for natural healing and strengthening of tissues and your immune system. Let’s look at some options here.
To European-based cultures (like the United States), acupuncture was long regarded as a myth or a form of voodoo. It is neither, and it has become more popular outside of Asia year after year. How does it work? Even if the answer is, “we don’t know,” don’t be alarmed. It took decades after its discovery for scientists to understand how aspirin worked, and that didn’t stop people from using aspirin.
There are many options under this category because physical therapists have many techniques to use to help patients manage their pain. This includes stretching and exercising, moving joints, and muscles to keep them limber and bring fluids and antibodies to specific areas, strength building, relaxation, massage, and weight loss. Also, physical therapy includes occupational therapy, which includes learning to adapt to physical limitations that may have set in on a temporary or permanent basis.
Yoga is a specific form of stretching that encourages relaxation, flexibility, and holistic dynamics in your body. Being healthy, whatever form it takes, is one way to reduce pain.
Like acupuncture, chiropractic medicine has not always enjoyed the trust of the public or the scientific community. Nevertheless, chiropractic manipulations bring relief to millions of people each year – and you simply cannot argue with that.
n Dietary management
There are many conditions where changes in the diet can reduce pain drastically — these range from gastric reflux to irritable bowel syndrome to many other illnesses and maladies.
Talk therapy can do wonders to reduce stress and to find internal roadblocks that prevent people from taking better care of themselves. Benefits also include understanding the connections between thoughts and emotions, which can help people who think catastrophically about their pain. Under this category, you could put techniques such as biofeedback and guided imagery, which helps promote relaxation.
Hypnosis is really the power of suggestion, which tends to be much more effective if someone is in a relaxed state. It is considered valuable for quitting smoking and reducing phobias. It is also deployed as a pain management tool, and various studies have attested to its effectiveness.
Make a Call
For primary care and pain management, call Pacific Medical Care in San Diego at 619-333-8114 for an appointment.