Pain management is of critical importance to people who suffer from chronic pain. And all too often, patients feel as though their options are limited. A standard solution recommended by many medical professionals is medication, surgery, or a combination of the two. And though there are instances where surgical intervention is the best route to take, it’s helpful to know about alternative pain management options worthy of consideration.
Long recovery times typically follow surgery, as do prescription medications. And though this isn’t an inherently bad part of the treatment process, addiction to pain medication is an ongoing problem in the U.S. That’s why it’s good to be aware of the other pain management options available when surgery and medication aren’t deemed an immediate necessity by a licensed medical professional. Below are some of the most effective and popular forms of non-surgical pain management for people who suffer from everyday aches and pains.
Many of the body's neuromusculoskeletal conditions can be traced back to problems within the muscles and soft tissues, as well as in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Failure of the body to adapt to these conditions is often a common cause of disability, pain, and altered biomechanical function. At times, the problem is due to the restriction of joints in the body. To help alleviate these restrictions, chiropractors manipulate the spine — among other techniques — to ensure that the proper muscle groups are balanced and that function is restored. This method is safe for patients of all ages and those suffering from a variety of conditions.
Chiropractors have traditionally treated conditions affecting the back, spine, and joints. However, the chiropractic method can be used to treat pain of many types. Patients suffering from workplace injuries, sports-related injuries, fibromyalgia, rotator cuff damage, neck injuries, and even head injuries can all seek help from a qualified chiropractor.
Physical therapists evaluate and treat people suffering from injuries that prevent them from moving and functioning properly. The primary focus of physical therapists is to help patients recover from their injuries, regain independence, and improve quality of life. And though physical therapy is typically a part of the recovery process post-surgery, it is often recommended as an effective treatment for chronic pain before surgical intervention is deemed necessary.
A typical physical therapy session involves an assessment of condition or progress, and repetition of strengthening exercises. Physical therapists then track a patient's progress and adapt the exercises according to the patient's changing needs.
Vitamins and Dietary Supplements
Eating right is an important part of staying healthy. An unhealthy diet can lead to obesity, joint problems, musculoskeletal pain, and poor health overall. Patients recovering from an injury may experience more complications if they are overweight, which could lead to an overall slower recovery time.
Many foods have been shown to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is one of the body's mechanisms for protecting itself, but it can also stimulate the nerve endings and cause pain. Reducing inflammation can help the patient control their pain. A diet that is focused on anti-inflammatory foods can help patients control their inflammation and thus reduce their pain response. Working with a nutrition expert or dietician is a good way for patients to control chronic pain.
The practice of yoga relaxes the body and gives patients the tools they need to manage their own pain. Breathing exercises performed in yoga can be used throughout the day to reduce pain, especially pain that is caused by muscle tension. For patients who suffer from chronic pain, performing yoga can improve quality of life. Yoga is especially effective when used in conjunction with alternative medical treatments like chiropractic care.
Massage therapy relaxes the muscles while reducing tension and inflammation. Massage is also fun, relaxing, and good for a patient's mental health. This technique is often used in conjunction with other more robust forms of therapy, like chiropractic care or physical therapy.
Ask for a Second Opinion
Many people listen only to one medical professional and never get a second opinion. Getting a one-sided view of the situation makes it difficult or impossible to consider alternatives. Consulting with other professionals enables the patient to consider and explore their options. If you suffer from chronic pain, talk to alternative medical professionals to find out what else can be done to treat your pain.
Contact a Professional Today
If you suffer from chronic pain or are recovering from a recent injury, surgery may not be your only option. At Legacy Medical Centers, we help patients explore alternatives to surgery.
Our cutting-edge, non-invasive pain management techniques help patients take control of their recovery. And unlike surgery, our techniques do not involve extensive recovery times. To find out more about how you can manage pain without surgery or pain medications, contact us today.