To many, Chronic Pain is an intimidating, unyielding mountain that can seem unsurpassable at times. A large part of this burdensome perspective is the enigmatic nature of this illness. There is often no direct cause that is attributed to chronic pain, which makes it one of the hardest ailments to treat. Ask any chronic pain patient and they would tell you that chronic pain is not something that can be negotiated with... Despite the mysteriousness and difficulty in handling this illness, there have been several remedies concocted and pioneered throughout the years. Chronic pain may seem impossible to beat, yet these various tools have all had a level of success at times. Today we’ll go into detail about the different kinds of remedies for chronic pain and how they work.
To begin, we’ll address tools from the more scientific side of things, and then refer to more simple remedies for chronic pain. An extremely common tool used is anti-inflammatory/relaxant drugs, both prescribed and non-prescribed. For non-prescribed, we have general drugs you can get at markets such as Tylenol that work to reduce inflammation in the body. These usually help to an extent because many times, an ache in the body (such as a headache) is caused by inflammation. Therefore, anti-inflammatory drugs can be useful for pain relief. These are usually the first level, yet when these do not work many moves on to prescribed drugs. Doctors will prescribe a variety of meds to help soothe serious pain. Among them is Diazepam (which aids anxiety), Antidepressants (which have pain relieving elements), Codeine, and many other prescribed drugs that have pain relieving effects. These drugs can work to be powerful pain relievers yet take note that larger doses have a correlation with increased risk of heart attack and stroke. It can be tempting for many in pain to take beyond what they need, yet moderation is crucial while taking drugs.
According to WebMD, there is an array of available electric therapy/therapy that aids those in pain as well. They describe one of them very well, “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, more commonly referred to as TENS, uses electrical stimulation to diminish pain. During the procedure, low-voltage electrical current is delivered through electrodes that are placed on the skin near the source of pain. The electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that "scramble" normal pain signals.” This method doesn’t add pain whatsoever. Bioelectric therapy also helps by blocking pain messages to the brain and has shown to be very effective when combined with pain relievers.
Another type of therapy includes physical therapy and exercise. These are vital to pain relief, as research has shown that resting too much can increase pain and leave the body stiff. Exercise is important because it focuses on muscle strength and flexibility, which can greatly help with pain, especially in the joints. Another benefit of exercise is that it releases the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins.
One last therapy to try is psychotherapy, which is overlooked by many. This therapy is valuable as it can help patients to sort through these negative feelings, learn how to cope with their circumstance, and improve their mood. At first glance, it may not seem like a method that can help with pain relief, yet research shows that dwelling on feelings of pain, depression, anger, and grief can increase the pain one feels. Psychological stress certainly contributes to the physical pain one can feel Therefore, psychotherapy can certainly be nurturing to someone facing chronic pain.
Another type of remedy includes those that have to do with the mind and body. For example, there are treatments that aid the body such as Massages, Chiropractic Therapy, and Acupuncture. These therapies help muscles in the body to relax. This, in turn, can help alleviate pain and reduce stress. Techniques to assist the mind in dealing with pain include Meditation, Hypnosis, and Pain Visualization. These remedies help ease the mind and especially psychological stress, which has been shown to increase the amount of physical pain felt. Mind techniques are one of the least used remedies for chronic pain yet can have very pleasant results!
The last avenue that one can take to relieve their chronic pain is improving one’s diet. Diet is essential to aiding the body in functioning as well as possible and can help relieve chronic pain if done correctly. For example, did you know that lactose and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and cream can contribute to increased pain due to their inflammatory elements when digested? It should also be noted that cocoa, vitamin D, fish oils, fruits and vegetables, tart cherries, and ginger can all help to alleviate pain as they have anti-inflammatory properties. Educating oneself about diet and what different foods can do for the body is key to helping their ailments. This tip does not only apply to chronic pain patients, but also to anyone whose body can be benefited with improved nutrition.
There truly is an assortment of ways that one can help deal with their chronic pain, yet the most valuable one will always be the support of family and close ones. If you know someone who suffers from chronic pain, please feel encouraged to send them this article and our other blogs too! If you support our cause, please consider supporting Bowtie Kids in any way possible, including but not limited to supporting our social media presence, donating, and/or telling friends and loved ones about us. Stopping pains like migraines from happening isn’t a certainty. Yet, being able to support and encourage those who suffer from them surely is. Visit Bowtie Kids to learn about different support opportunities that you can get involved with as you find the best way to support children with chronic pain.
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Written by Ezra Archer