Natural Steps to Control Your Pain

By in Green Talk on 25 August 2010

If you are in pain, especially if it is nagging or chronic, you may be hoping to avoid taking medication but still want relief. Or maybe you would like to save money by managing your pain without resorting to chemical means. There are many non-medical, sometimes inexpensive ways to manage your pain.

Chiropractics

A good chiropractor can make you wonder where he or she has been all your life. Chiropractics realign the joints, especially the spine. When the spine is out of line, the other joints get out of line as well. Muscles tighten to compensate for the misalignment, pulling tighter and creating knots and cramps.

A chiropractor will relax the muscles and realign the spine. Chiropractics can relieve joint pain, headaches, and backaches. Most chiropractors also treat conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Your chiropractor will probably recommend supplements and dietary changes to help manage your pain as well. In addition, he or she may give you special stretches and exercises to do to keep your pain at bay.

Massage

A good massage can help relax muscles, which relieves the pain of tension. Massage therapists specialize in pain-relieving tissue manipulation that can bring great relief. Massage therapists may also recommend supplements and dietary changes.

Stretching

Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and other stretches are helpful in reducing pain. They relax muscle tension, increase circulation, and help align the body.

Hot and Cold

Applying alternating hot and cold packs help relieve pain. The heat increases circulation to the area and encourages muscle relaxation. The cold reduces inflammation and swelling. You can buy such packs commercially, or make your own with two tube socks filled with rice and tied shut. Put one in the freezer and microwave the other. Then use alternately.

Identifying the Cause of Your Pain

Keep a journal of your pain experience. In this journal, write down a daily record of everything you eat, what you do physically (Did you sit in a recliner for a long time? Or in a desk chair? Did you lie down or do a lot of standing that day?), and when you feel more or less pain. This will help you look for patterns.

Perhaps you get headaches from a food allergy you didn’t know you had, or maybe the way you sit at your computer is causing neck or shoulder pain. The journal can help you identify these possible causal factors.

Acupuncture and Acupressure

These natural pain relief treatments work by targeting “energy centers” or channels in the body. When these channels are opened through acupuncture or acupressure, the theory is that the energy will flow freely and pain will be reduced. Acupuncture and acupressure may actually stimulate the body’s natural pain-fighting chemicals and promote circulation.

Regular Exercise

It’s remarkable what just getting the body moving can do for pain. Water aerobics, swimming, walking, and other regular exercise can greatly increase circulation, promote healthy joints and bones, and loosen muscles. Avoid exercises that involve a lot of twisting, contortions, or joint stress (such as running on pavement).

If your pain is very persistent, you might want to see a specialist. There are pain management specialists who do not use drugs or medications.

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