3 Drug-Free Ways to Manage Pain

The Institute of Medicine of The National Academies estimates that 100 million Americans are plagued by chronic pain. Living in pain each day can be exhausting, and many of these people rely on prescription medications to keep their pain levels in check.

If you suffer from chronic pain, but you don't want to be reliant on pharmaceuticals, there may be another way to manage your pain. Here are 3 drug-free ways that you can manage your pain in the future.

1. Exercise

While moving your body more might sound like it would induce more pain, proper exercise can actually be a beneficial way to reduce your pain levels in the future. The key to using exercise as a pain management solution is to ensure that you are engaging in the right kind of activity.

Low-impact cardiovascular exercises, like swimming, have been associated with the relief of lower back and knee pain. Strengthening your core through abdominal crunches can also help relieve chronic pain. Ask your doctor to suggest some forms of exercise that will help alleviate your unique type of pain.

2. Low-Voltage Electrical Current

If you no longer want to rely on chemical substances to treat your pain, you could try turning to low-voltage electrical currents instead. Use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, machine could help your body produce natural painkillers called endorphins.

Some doctors also believe that a TENS machine attached to the area where you experience pain helps to scramble the pain signals sent through your nervous system to the brain, effectively reducing the amount of pain you feel. Have your doctor show you how to properly use a TENS machine in order to avoid causing your body any harm.

3. Acupuncture

Chinese healers have relied on acupuncture for over 3,000 years to provide their patients with relief from chronic pain. It is believed by many that acupuncture has the ability to stimulate the body's natural healing process, allowing your body to treat the source of your pain without medications.

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat the pain brought on by arthritis, chronic headaches, joint sprains, and surgery. Before trying acupuncture, be sure that you seek out a practitioner who is licensed to perform the procedure in your state.

Pharmaceuticals can provide temporary relief from chronic pain, but many people worry about developing a dependence on these substances. If you don't want to rely on medications to alleviate your pain, experiment with some drug-free ways to manage your pain in the future. Contact resources such as Illinois Pain Institute to learn more.