Pain is a natural part of life that tells us when something is wrong with our bodies. Unfortunately, as we age and our bodies break down, pain becomes a more common occurrence. Many people with recurring or chronic pain choose to endure it, but with the wide array of pain management treatment options available these days, there is no reason not to use them. If you are apprehensive about a surgical procedure to correct a health condition, you should keep in mind that there are many non-surgical alternatives for pain management.
One of the most effective treatment options for pain conditions like osteoarthritis, back pain, or fibromyalgia is physical therapy. Physical therapists employ a range of techniques to improve strength and flexibility in patients. They begin with a comprehensive evaluation of your current physique and medical history to develop a personalized therapy program.They may use light aerobics, strength training, stretching exercises and pain mitigation techniques to enhance functionality and overall health. Your therapist will initially work with you to master these techniques before asking you to continue with them on your own.
Another pain management technique that may prove effective in pain management is cognitive behavioral therapy, which alters some of the neurological mechanisms that may exacerbate pain conditions. Although pain is a very real phenomenon, many people allow the pain sensations to overwhelm them which can raise stress levels and make symptoms even worse. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves talking so that therapists can understand how you respond to pain and retrain you to use more beneficial coping mechanisms.
A very powerful technique for managing pain that has worked for countless generations is exercise.You should consult with your physician beforehand to determine what exercise program is ideal for you, but many people with chronic pain conditions respond positively to yoga or tai chi.These types of low-impact exercise emphasize gentle motions along with breath control and peaceful thinking that raise endorphin—natural painkillers—levels while lowering stress. Many patients with headaches and arthritis have found success with regular, light exercise that promotes flexibility, strength and psychological peace.
A final pain management treatment option that doesn’t involve an invasive procedure is medication. Many patients expect their physician to immediately prescribe a powerful pain relief drug if they are in pain, but more physicians are using medications as a last resort after other treatment options have proven ineffective. Doctors recognize that medications often come with enormous risks that may outweigh their benefits. For example, in some patients, powerful opioid painkillers may actually make them more sensitive to pain. More importantly, many potent drugs pose the risk of addiction, which may be more dangerous than the initial injury. Even when doctors recommend a medication, it may often be an over-the-counter pain reliever, because in some studies, drugs like Tylenol were often just as effective.
While non-invasive pain treatments are quite effective for many patients, some may not be right for you. Before you begin a new pain management regimen, consult with your doctor to design a personalized program for you.
Article written by: Dr. Robert Moghim – CEO/Founder Colorado Pain Care
M.D. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of Robert Moghim, M.D. and do not necessarily represent and are not intended to represent the views of the company or its employees.