Millions of people across the country suffer from chronic pain. The CDC estimates that 1 out of 5 adults have experienced chronic pain in their lives. Not all pain is the same, however. For some, it’s an annoyance they have to live with. For others, the pain is debilitating enough to interfere with their day-to-day life.
There are many ways to manage chronic pain. Natural methods such as herbal remedies and cryotherapy are quickly growing in popularity, particularly among practitioners of an eco-lifestyle. Other people prefer mainstream medicine, such as painkillers and medical marijuana in Tulsa.
If you suffer from chronic pain, it doesn’t hurt to try one or some of these natural methods to manage pain and improve your everyday life. Here are a few things you can do to relieve pain.
1. Get a massage
Many people swear on therapeutic massage and its many benefits. Not only does it relax you and get your blood flowing, but it can also loosen your sore spots and temporarily relieve pain. What used to be a luxury is now considered as a potent remedy for chronic pain.
According to the Annals of Family Medicine, regular massage helped reduce chronic neck pain in patients. Its effect on reducing anxiety and improving relaxation cannot be understated as well. Patients reported experiencing better sleep and breathing than those who did not receive a massage.
Not all people can get a therapeutic massage, however. If you have a skin disease, a massage can aggravate your condition. Specific heart problems also disqualify you from receiving a therapeutic massage. Consult with your primary care provider for more details.
Meditation seems like new-age nonsense, but it has been proven to be a quick, free, and easy way to reduce stress and anxiety. The concept is simple: The less anxious and more rested you are, the less pain you will feel.
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Meditation can be done in many different ways. One popular method is to lie on a comfortable surface, close your eyes, breathe slowly, and repeat a pleasing sound in your head. You can also take meditation classes, which usually teach you how to focus your thoughts and provide your meditation with a sense of structure. There are also smartphone apps and websites for meditation.
3. Regular movement
Your muscles are designed for movement. If left unused, it can atrophy and worsen your pain. Moving is painful, and not moving is painful; it’s a lose-lose situation. But regular gentle movement and stretching go a long way in reducing pain and improving your mobility. Ask your physical therapist for exercises you can do at home.
4. Apply heat or cold
Applying a cold compress or a hot water bottle on painful joints and muscles can relieve some of the pain you feel. For instance, heat loosens sore muscles, improves blood flow, and gives your brain something to distract itself with. The cold, on the other hand, reduces inflammation and slows down pain signals from traveling.
There are many things you can do to manage your pain that doesn’t come in the form of a pill. While these natural methods might not do much by itself, when combined with other methods, you might be able to handle your pain better. Choose the ones that you can do regularly without fail.