Did you know that around 50 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain? That number is only poised to grow more in the coming decades, with increases in diseases such as diabetes paired with longer life expectancies.
Have you ever wanted to find natural chronic pain relief for your aches and pains? Here are some of the best options for chronic pain treatment that allow you to live a fulfilling life with less pain.
Stretch It Out
Stretching has a myriad of health benefits and it is useful at any age. In particular, it is vital to include stretching in your pain treatment because it loosens your muscles.
When you move your body, you keep it in better shape and keep your joints and muscles fluid. Without stretching, your muscles can become stiff and make mobility and basic actions difficult.
One of the biggest benefits of stretching is that it is generally a low-impact activity. This means that you will not put added stress on your joints and ligaments that already have problems with chronic pain.
If you have serious chronic pain issues, you may benefit from visiting a physical therapist at first. He or she can help you learn stretches that will work best for your body without pushing it too much.
You can do stretches that work for all of your muscles or focus on different groups. Make sure to talk to your doctor about which types of stretches they recommend to help with immediate pain relief.
Many gyms also have classes for yoga and stretching, where you can learn from an instructor. If you do not want to leave your house, you can load a tutorial video that instructs you on how to stretch your body effectively for chronic pain treatment.
Try Heat Therapy
A hot soak in the bath can help you unwind after a long day, but did you know that it also works as an effective pain treatment? When you relax your body in the bathtub, it can actually change how your nervous system interprets pain signals going to your brain.
However, whether you use heat regularly for chronic pain depends on the type of injury. For instance, if you sprain or twist a tendon, then you should put ice on it rather than take a dip in the bath. Heat will increase blood flow to the site and cause more swelling.
If you want to bring your bath to the next level, try adding Epsom salt. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is known to help relieve pain in your muscles. It can also dull the symptoms of other conditions such as migraines.
You can also combine heat with other methods for pain relief to maximize the effect. Next time you try a massage, book a hot stone massage rather than your regular one. You may be impressed with the difference in results.
Book a Massage
Next time you treat yourself to a spa day, make sure to sneak in a massage. Massages are one of the most effective treatments for pain relief because they have both acute and lasting results.
When you get a massage, make sure to tell the massage therapist if there are any areas that are bugging you. Some spas allow you to book massages focused on certain areas of the body, such as the neck or back.
Massages help to stimulate blood flow, which can, in turn, relieve tension in your muscles. You will also leave your massage appointment feeling more relaxed. Endorphins can be one of the easiest ways to temporarily relieve chronic pain.
If your sore areas are accessible, then you should consider learning some massage techniques you can do at home. For example, you can often treat leg pain with self-massage.
Consider upgrading your massage experience with a massage gun if the practice is effective for your pain treatment. These devices give you rapid pressure on the targeted area, which can increase blood flow quickly and ease the pain.
Some of the most popular types of massages include:
- hot stone massage
- Swedish massage
- reflexology massage
- aromatherapy massage
- percussion massage
It may take some trial and error, but you are bound to find a type of massage that works best for you and your chronic pain management plan.
Meditation is key to improving your mental health, but did you know that it can also make changes to your chronic pain as well? Meditation is the art of devoting sessions of time to focusing on your thoughts or following a guide through breathing exercises.
If you feel comfortable meditating on your own, you can do it during a dedicated time of day. Try to determine points of the day where you feel stressed or need to wind down. Some of the best times include right when you get up in the morning or before you go to bed at night.
There are many guided meditations that you can do through the internet or applications. Sites like YouTube and Spotify have meditation playlists you can tap into to find what you are looking for.
Some applications will give you access to all different types of exercises with specific goals or time frames. They can remind you when you need to meditate, which is helpful if you are busy as well.
Make Changes to Your Diet
Although you may not think that diet and chronic pain are linked, what you put in your body can have a huge impact on how you feel. Obviously, you know that junk food and empty calories do not serve the best nutritional content for your body.
However, you should take it a step further and focus on eating foods that will reduce inflammation. Inflammation of joints is one of the biggest causes of chronic pain.
Try adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily regimen. A good rule of thumb is to try to eat one to two servings of these with every meal and substitute them for your snacks as well.
If you want to lose weight or exercise more, these foods will also give you the nutrients that you need to accomplish your goals, with fewer calories.
In addition to more protein, you should also incorporate healthy fats, such as nuts and fish, and try whole grain ingredients when you want to use carbohydrates.
Make sure to talk to your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet. It may be helpful to get an allergy assessment done as well, as some ingredients can worsen chronic pain.
Use Essential Oils
Did you know that essential oils can help with your chronic pain? Although they may not soothe the pain directly, changing your state of mind and allowing you to get better rest play major roles in your pain levels on a day-to-day basis.
When you get a massage, ask the massage therapist if they can use essential oils during the session. Some of the best scents for calming include lavender, chamomile, and jasmine.
If you want these scents in your home, try out an essential oil diffuser. You can find them in almost any size or price range, so make sure to get one that matches what you need. You can use a single oil or combine them into a preferred fragrance.
If you have children or pets, make sure that you know which scents are safe to use around them. Talk to your doctor or veterinarian if you have concerns about using essential oils around your household critters.
For the personal benefit and immediate calming effects, try dabbing the essential oil on your wrists where you would normally put perfume. You can even make it into a rollerball solution to carry with you at all times.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital for your overall health and well-being, and it is critical for those who suffer from chronic pain. When you ask yourself, “What is chronic pain?” you may not immediately think of your sleep habits as a direct factor in how you feel every day.
Try to create an environment in your bedroom that encourages good sleep. Avoid looking at screens immediately before you want to fall asleep. The blue light from cell phones, computer screens, or tablets can interfere with your natural sleep cycles.
Good sleep restores your body and can play a key role in reducing inflammation, which causes chronic pain. It may be a good idea to track your sleep for a few weeks to find out what duration and time works best for your body.
If you live somewhere that is noisy, consider getting a white noise machine or using an app on your phone to block out sounds. For people who have to sleep during the day, blackout curtains are a great way to keep out unnecessary light.
You should also try to stay on the same sleep schedule if it is possible for you. It may be tempting to sleep in on your days off, but consistency is key when it comes to getting restful shut-eye.
Ice Your Joints
Both hot and cold temperature treatments play vastly different roles when it comes to chronic pain treatment. Although heat can help to get your blood flowing, ice is also vital.
If you experience chronic inflammation in certain areas, try using an ice pack on the affected part of your body. This is especially helpful for problems in your back, knees, or wrists, which all experience heavy use throughout the day.
For a flexible solution, a gel cool back can bend to your body to cool it down more quickly. Make sure that you wrap it in a cloth or something else so it does not go directly onto your skin.
An ice bath is an extreme measure, but it can be beneficial if you have been physically active for long periods of time. Submerge yourself slowly and do not sit in it for too long. If you are unsure about whether or not using ice baths is right for you, talk to your doctor before you try.
You may not think about exercising when you have chronic pain, but it can actually be a huge help to manage your symptoms. Getting your body moving is a wonderful way to boost endorphins.
Endorphins are receptors in your brain that cause feelings of happiness and joy. When you elevate your endorphin levels, you are less likely to experience pain.
If you have not exercised in a while, try starting small. Rather than attempting to run a mile, go for a short walk to see how you feel afterward. This will help you prevent your body from over-exerting itself when you get started.
Exercise is a great hobby because you can do it alone or with a group. For example, if you love to hike, try to find some friends to take treks with on a regular basis. You can look forward to exercising your muscles in a healthy way.
With exercise, you can also set and achieve goals and milestones. Making progress towards a goal can help you stay motivated and get out to exercise more than if you do not have anything specific you want to achieve.
Talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you need exercise ideas that can accommodate or improve your chronic pain. For instance, if you suffer from joint pain, then high-impact exercise such as running may not be the right fit.
So Many Types of Natural Chronic Pain Relief
If you suffer from chronic pain, you should not have to live in discomfort all of the time. With these tips, you can find natural chronic pain relief without relying on prescription medication or other unhealthy methods.
Want to learn more about how you can take the best care of your body? Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.