Pain Management Options Beyond Pills and Drugs

Accidents and injuries are sometimes an inevitable part of life, and these days when you suffer from pain following these events, a physician will often prescribe pain medication to try and help. While pain medications can be a good option for short-term relief, they can become dangerous and addictive if taken over long periods of time. The population of the United States makes up about 5% of the total world population, but consumes about 75% of all prescription medications—and narcotic painkillers were the most commonly abused.

The problem is that millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain from workplace, automobile, or other accidents, find that their pain is difficult to live with, and turn to prescriptions because they believe that is the only way they will get relief.

Alternative Treatment Options

As the staggering statistics on prescription drug abuse mount, many doctors, healthcare professionals, and patients are looking for ways to get pain relief besides popping more pills. There are several alternative treatment options out there, and one of the best and most effective is chiropractic treatment.

Treatment Options

Chiropractic treatment is particularly effective for problems associated with neck and back injuries, which are among the most commonly reported pain issues that cause people to turn to prescription drugs. Chiropractors are trained to understand issues associated with muscle, joint, and bone injuries, and treat the underlying causes of pain rather than just masking the pain with pills. Depending on the cause of your pain, you might need:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Spinal decompression
  • Stretching for improved flexibility and mobility
  • Acupuncture or massage to relax muscles

In addition to addressing misalignments that put pressure on your nerves and cause pain, these treatments can offer a more holistic approach to pain and effectively reduce your need for painkillers. Adding services such as massage and mobility treatments can also allow your body to recover better and make future adjustments easier, while increasing your range of motion to reduce the chance of re-injuring yourself in the future.

Prescription pain pills can effectively mask pain and offer temporary relief after you suffer from an injury, but can come with significant side effects and long-term consequences that often are not worth the relief they provided for a short time. Becoming addicted to these medications can have serious, life-altering consequences, so if you are suffering from pain, it’s worth your time to visit a chiropractor and find out if you are able to obtain long-lasting relief by addressing the underlying causes of the pain.

4 Benefits of Massage Therapy in a Pain Management Plan

When most people think of massage therapy, they think about something that is reserved for luxurious vacations or a pampering day at the spa. What you might not think about is how beneficial massage can be for many people in their everyday life, especially those who are managing chronic pain. Today many people take part in massage—and not just the spa treatment variety—to help with chronic pain. Massage may not necessarily take the place of other more traditional medical treatment options, but it can be beneficial to add to an overall pain management plan. Here’s why.

Serotonin Release

During massage, your body will release serotonin, a chemical found in the human body that is used as a neurotransmitter and is thought to be a natural anti-pain chemical. It also doesn’t come with the risks or side effects that some over-the-counter medications or prescription opioid pain relief can cause.

Deep, Restorative Sleep

A favorite saying of many doctors is that “sleep is medicine”. Getting enough sleep has tons of benefits for your body, ranging from feeling better and being more alert to regulating appetite and even reducing pain. Even if you are in bed for several hours each night, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting the type of sleep your body needs to heal. A lack of deep, restorative sleep (often called REM, or rapid eye movement sleep) might be aggravating your pain or preventing your body from feeling better. Massage can help you relax, helping to increase your body’s ability to get deep sleep.

Improved Fitness and Physical Function

Studies in two groups of people with the chronic pain conditions fibromyalgia and arthritis showed that massage therapy helped improve pain, reduce stiffness, and increase the physical function of those who received it on a regular basis—as evidenced by their ability to walk a distance of 50 feet in a shorter time period and while reporting less pain. Arthritis sufferers also reported that they had better grip strength and lower instances of anxiety and depression when participating in regular massage.

Reduced Anxiety and Improved Mood

The relaxation that you can achieve with massage can also help reduce anxiety and depression, conditions often associated with chronic pain. In fact, in studies conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association, patients rated massage just as high or higher than medications for its ability to provide pain relief.

Massage therapy is beneficial as part of a whole-body approach to pain management. Studies have shown it to be highly effective in helping manage chronic pain associated with arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and other similar conditions. The great news is that you don’t even have to schedule long blocks of time for your massages—many patients see benefits with as little as one to two 20-minute massages each week. To find out more about how massage can help with your chronic pain and how it can be incorporated with other treatments from your chiropractor, visit Apollo Chiropractor today.