Millions of individuals around the world suffer from chronic pain. Many of these people are prescribed Opioids to help alleviate their pain, but the flip side of that welcome relief is the high probability of addiction.
Unfortunately for about every ten people who have prescribed these powerful painkillers, more than two will become addicted. Many doctors may not realize there are other options to pain relief besides a prescription medication. One substitute is Physio or physical therapy as a natural and long lasting alternative to pills.
Below are 5 healthy alternatives to Opioids you might want to discuss with your doctor.
Exercise and physiotherapy can alleviate much of the chronic pain many individuals suffer with on a daily basis. A physiotherapist will begin by gently manipulating the painful areas that a person indicates is bothering them.
The patient may see this type of therapist several times a week at the beginning of their treatment and then do more and more of the exercises at home. It is important to learn how to do the movements in the correct order and in the proper manner to receive the benefits and continued relief.
Movement is the best medicine for chronic pain. Although there is no cure, keeping up with the plan a physiotherapist has outlined for you, will help greatly with pain reduction.
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine, is used to relieve many of the same chronic pains Opioids target. This could be anything from arthritis and migraines, to non-physical ailments like insomnia and depression.
It is believed that acupuncture works are released stimulated endorphins, which are a natural pain reliever of the body. Another part of the body positively affected by acupuncture is the autonomic portion of the nervous system. This, in turn, calms the brain, reduces inflammation, and regulates blood pressure and blood flow.
- RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation)
This treatment uses electrical currents to reduce the pain signals to the brain. This procedure is the most precise and offers the best long term relief of pain without the side effects of an Opioid.
The only drawback to this procedure is most insurance companies will not cover it and it is on the pricey side of the scale.
- Meditation and Mindfulness
These practices place more emphasis on accepting the pain rather than on the worry over the pain. This is of course an all natural method of pain relief, but many find it hard to implement into their lives.
Being mindful and in the moment are beneficial for many different illnesses like anxiety, depression, phobias and pain management. Many times it takes years of practice to perfect mindfulness, although the benefits can be reaped rather quickly, if for a short period of time.
- Steroids or Numbing Shots
Many individuals opt for steroid or other numbing type shots in the area of pain. This is used for mainly joint pain in the knees, hips and other larger joints. The medication lasts anywhere from a few weeks up to a year, depending on the severity of the pain.