Four ways to manage pain without a prescription.
If an individual were totally pain free, they would not know if they burned their hand, stubbed their toe, or had a condition that demanded immediate treatment. Pain is a signal that something is wrong.
But when pain is chronic, it presents a whole cluster of problems.
Eugene Cauvin, NP, who specializes in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at White Plains Hospital, says the key is “activity, activity, activity!” He notes, “Going for a walk isn’t a treatment, exactly. But regular physical activity has big benefits for people with many different painful conditions. Study after study has found that physical activity can help relieve chronic pain, as well as boost energy and mood.”
Other techniques include:
- Acupuncture may work by releasing pain-numbing chemicals in the body or by blocking nerve signals.
- Vitamins and supplements can help with certain types of pain. Fish oil can reduce pain associated with swelling. Capsaicin from chili peppers may help with arthritis, diabetic nerve pain and other conditions. But remember: supplements can have side effects or interact with medications – always check with your doctor before using them.
- Therapy – Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that contribute to the depression that often can accompany chronic pain.
- Stress-reduction techniques, which can include yoga, relaxation therapy, hypnosis, music therapy, biofeedback and massage.
“Don’t try out these techniques on your own without your doctor’s knowledge. Instead, you and your doctor should talk over the pros and cons of different approaches,” Cauvin adds. “What’s most likely to help in your case? What will complement your other treatments?”