Alternative Ways to Deal with Pain
Though horrid unpleasant, pain is the feeling that signals about some serious condition in our bodies that has to be taken care of immediately. And surprisingly, acute pain is not that much of a problem when it comes to methods of treatment and eagerness of people to alleviate its intensity.
Chronic pain, however, causes a great deal of trouble because of both a period of time it is present in one’s life and ways that are normally used to deal with it.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics report, more than 26% of Americans who are 20 years old and over (or 76,5 million people) have suffered from pain that lasted more than 24 hours. Also, two-thirds (59%) of respondents of Voices of Chronic Pain Survey have said it has significantly lessened their enjoyment of their lives and has seriously reduced their quality. However, for the majority of cases (no matter, acute and chronic) of pain medication is used to help the people suffering from it.
The drugs that are most commonly prescribed for people in pain are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or even opioids (Vicodin, OxyContin etc.). But if the pain has been persisting for long periods of time, medicating oneself in order to alleviate it may become a very dangerous thing for one’s health as well. Along with overall impact of constant influence of alien chemicals on a person’s system, medication for pain treatment, especially chronic one, poses another great threat. That threat is a big chance of developing prescription drugs addiction, particularly when it comes to opioids.
Therefore alternative ways of treating chronic pain have been introduced to let people avoid any harmful consequences regarding drug-taking for pain alleviation.
Those ways are using chiropractors’ help and exercising. Such methods claim to be even more effective that drugs not only because they don’t have that bad impact on one’s health, but also due to the fact they are dealing not just with the pain itself, but also with underlying causes of it, reducing probability that it will come back after a treatment received.
Chiropractors are physician who receive extensive training as medical professionals for 4-6 years and provide help in pain treatment with hands-on manipulations, therapeutic exercises and other kinds of non-invasive therapy, such as counseling in nutrition and lifestyle. They are visited annually by about 22 million of Americans who rely on alternative ways of dealing with pain. Manipulation practices normally performed by chiropractors are aimed at helping a body to heal itself with restoring mobility of joints that has been disrupted because of any kind of trauma (including sedentary lifestyle).
As statistics states, the most common kinds of chronic pain are neck and back pain, most often caused by already mentioned sedentary lifestyle led by office workers and also wrong way of posing oneself in a working place. While certain exercises are better to be recommended by a qualified physician (chiropractors are of much help here), there are some measures every person can take to make things easier. Those are:
- Getting rid (or at least significantly reduce) of sugars and grains from one’s diet. This will lead to lower levels of insulin and leptin that, in turn, will help to lessen prostaglandins’ (agents responsible for raising of certain body receptors’ sensibility to pain mediators) stimulation;
- Start taking Omega-3 fat, that also positively influence prostaglandins’ level (animal-based Omega-3 fats are claimed to be better than others);
- Ensure getting enough of sun exposure to keep a good level of Vitamin D that helps regulating pain sensitivity.