About 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, and it becomes more common with age. But many people don’t want to use traditional medications for pain. What can they do instead? Important: It is essential to consult your doctor before you begin any alternative or complementary therapy. Here are six alternative methods to manage pain:
A key part of traditional Chinese medicine, it involves inserting very fine needles at specific points of the body. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists pain as a condition that acupuncture can help, and one study offered strong support for acupuncture’s effectiveness against pain. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when done by an experienced practitioner.
Early NIH research suggests this might help to relieve headaches and neck and lower back pain. Side effects are typically minor.
Studies indicate that massage can be helpful, especially for back and neck pain, and may also reduce stress. Some kinds of massage (such as deep-tissue massage) may not be okay for those with certain health conditions or taking certain medications (like blood thinners).
An ancient Chinese martial art, tai chi is sometimes referred to as “moving meditation.” Research suggests tai chi might help with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis pain. Its low intensity makes it a particularly good fit for older adults.
Yoga combines movements, breathing techniques, and meditation, and may reduce some kinds of pain. People with certain conditions, such as high blood pressure or glaucoma, must adapt or avoid some yoga positions.
Over time, stress can make some physical problems worse. show that meditation and other relaxation techniques may help to reduce pain caused by stress.
Even though the hard science is not yet in on many complementary health practices, the research looks promising. You or your loved one may find these methods helpful in pain relief. As long as the doctor approves, give an alternative therapy a try!