Did you know that 20 percent of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain? That means 50 million Americans are living their lives with chronic pain. And what’s worse, 20 million Americans have such severe chronic pain that it affects their daily life and activities.
It may be a small comfort to know that you’re not alone in dealing with pain, but that doesn’t really help when you can barely bend over due to back pain or you can’t even sit without some part of your body hurting.
Before the opioid epidemic, the answer would have been painkillers because of how effective they are at relieving pain. But painkillers like Oxycodone are also highly addictive and can cause more problems than solutions in the long run.
Whether you’re worried about getting hooked on opioids or you’ve already suffered from opioid addiction and need to manage your chronic pain, there are natural ways to relieve pain. In this article, we’ll share several natural and healthy solutions that can help you ease your pain.
5 Natural Alternatives to Painkiller Use for Chronic Pain
1. Massage Therapy
When you think pain relief, one of the first ideas that may come to mind is massage therapy. And for good reason! While seen by many as a way to pamper yourself, massage therapy actually has many positive health benefits and its effects are continually studied by researchers. For example, a 2014 study found that 60-minute long massage therapy sessions 2-3 times a week helped relieve chronic neck pain. Massage therapy can also help ease muscle pain and tension, ease stress and relieve feelings of anxiety.
2. Meditation and Mindfulness Practice
The body and mind are intricately connected; what affects the body often affects the mind, and vice versa. So, if you’re able to calm the mind through mindfulness meditation, would that have an impact on chronic pain? Early research suggests that meditation and breathing exercises may be able to help decrease chronic pain and improve quality of life. While more research is needed, meditation may be able to help you better control your responses to stressors like pain, which can help relieve tension and make you feel better.
Similar to meditation, yoga provides another natural breathing technique that can help relieve chronic pain. However, yoga goes a step further by also incorporating stretching and physical therapy. Regular yoga practice that targets areas of your body that are hurting can help loosen muscles and ease the chronic pain you’re feeling.
4. Herbs and Essential Oils
More and more people are turning to herbs, plants and essential oils to help relieve chronic pain. For example, ginger and turmeric have both been shown to hold pain relieving qualities when used in their natural state. Essential oils may also hold some promise in relieving pain. Essential oils derived from peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus plants can help reduce inflammation, swelling and physical pain.
Acupuncture is a centuries-old practice that has continued to grow more popular over the last decade. This is because acupuncture holds many benefits, including relieving pain from conditions like sports injuries and fibromyalgia by blocking pain signals in the nervous system and increasing pain-numbing chemicals in the body.
While these solutions are all healthier alternatives to pain management than taking opioids, it’s important to talk with your doctor about which ones are the safest and most effective for you to try.
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Get Treatment for Chronic Pain and Addiction
If you’ve found yourself addicted to opioids in an attempt to treat chronic pain, know that you aren’t alone. There are treatment centers throughout the country that specialize in opioid addiction treatment and can help you find healthier and more effective alternatives to managing your chronic pain.
At The Raleigh House, we take an effective and holistic approach to treating opioid addiction and chronic pain. We work to personalize your treatment plan by getting to know your unique situation and how your chronic pain originated. From there, we use a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, pro-recovery nutrition, yoga, exercise and equine therapy to help heal your mind, body and soul from addiction and chronic pain.
Start Your Journey to Recovery at The Raleigh House
Chronic pain is exhausting and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to rule your life forever. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your days addicted to opioids. At The Raleigh House, we have over 10 years of experience helping people just like you overcome addiction and discover refreshing ways to relieve their chronic pain.
Are you ready to beat addiction and break free from chronic pain? Contact us today to speak to our admissions team about our treatment programs and learn how you can get started.