Chronic pain is a serious problem for many people. The CDC reports that over 20% of adults suffered from chronic pain in 2019. Over 7% of adults had pain that impaired their work or personal lives to a significant degree.
We experience pain in our daily lives due to various reasons. For example, it can be because we scraped our knees from falling too hard or because we ran into a door without making sure that it was a transparent one.
While these are physical injuries, pain can also be internal. For example, you may feel very sore and stiff after a bout of fever. Pain can also be the result of different kinds of illnesses.
These injuries can be treated quickly enough because their sources are known, and you can work on eliminating those sources. But this is not the case for chronic pain. There are steps that you can do to help manage chronic pain.
It is the kind of pain that continues for months without any specific reason. This is because chronic pain may be the cause of multiple conditions. Thus, it is difficult for doctors to understand what treatment plan they should follow.
This gave rise to alternative forms of treatment, like Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) which are growing popular by the day due to the positive results that have been produced.
When should alternative treatment be recommended?
Sometimes alternative treatment is coupled with the usual medicines for the best results. However, since even doctors are unsure which treatment will work for the patient, they must continue with a trial-and-error method.
The usual treatment generally involves the administration of drugs to reduce the pain. But, unfortunately, patients can get addicted to it, so alternative techniques are a must for people who risk suffering from substance use disorder.
Different kinds of medicines have various effects on individuals. If those effects are negative in any way, then there is an essential need for an alternative form of treatment that will have no side effects.
It is not easy to isolate the cause of chronic pain, which is why, more often than not, the usual medicines fail to relieve the patient from unbearable pain. This calls for alternative pain management techniques.
Benefits of alternative pain management techniques
Even though alternative pain management techniques are unconventional forms of treatment, their steady rise in popularity and success makes us question whether they are already part of the mainstream.
Prevents substance abuse
Treating pain can help treat and prevent substance abuse. If a drug is relieving you from pain, it is pretty natural to be highly dependent on it to such an extent that it is termed addiction. This makes the patient believe that their pain will be back if they discontinue the drugs.
But there are no such risks involved in alternative pain-relieving techniques because they do not involve using drugs at all. Instead, they use natural ways of soothing your pain.
Improves mental health
Generally, treatments are primarily concerned with eliminating the physical manifestation of something that is causing harm to your body. Whereas the well-being of your mental health is completely disregarded.
Since the cause of chronic pain is never correctly known, it may take a long time for a doctor to diagnose it. As a result, the patient may suffer even more during this uncertain period which may give rise to anxiety and depression.
You may end up making yourself believe that it is all in your head. But, if you are feeling pain, then it is very much accurate. Alternative techniques also include counseling sessions and group therapies to rid the mind of such conflicts.
Personalized treatment plan
You must understand that chronic pain is different for every individual because the pain may not be the cause of the same conditions. This is why the method of treatment will also differ.
You can consult your doctor to find out what is best for you. By trying different methods, you will soon conclude on a very personalized plan that will relieve you of your pain.
Some alternative pain management techniques
You have to continue to experiment with different types of treatment methods to understand what works best for you. However, here are a few alternative techniques that you can try.
This method involves poking your body with needles. As painful as this may sound, this is nothing in comparison to the pain you have been suffering for so many months.
Poking the part of your body which has been painful will relieve you of the pain to a considerable extent. Then, all you have to do is make sure that you see a professional acupuncturist.
Music is known to have a positive impact on our bodies and minds. Thus, it is no wonder that it is being used to treat chronic pain. In addition, it can act as a distraction from your pain.
Listening to music also causes the release of endorphins in your body which gives you feelings of pleasure, reducing your pain a bit. But you must make sure that you are listening at a considerable volume not to hurt your ears.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
It cannot be emphasized how much chronic pain has on your mental health. To make yourself believe that something you are feeling is not natural is the worst that it can get.
These conflicting issues in your mind may be the root causes of anxiety and depression. But CBT believes in the overall well-being of your body and mind. So it helps you control your pain and reduces your anxiety and depression.