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There are different reasons people commonly experience pain. There are acute pain situations, for example. With acute pain, you may have an injury, or you could have been in an accident that you’re recovering from. Car accidents often lead to neck and back pain that takes time to heal.
Then, there’s chronic pain.
Chronic pain can start as acute pain, or it could be related to an illness or ongoing disorder.
When you deal with pain of any kind, you likely want to try treating it non-invasively and without medicines, at least at first.
There are effective ways to deal with pain that don’t require over-the-counter or prescription medicines, including the following.
Check out the guideline
Heat and Cold
Heat and cold sound simple, but sometimes the simplest ways to deal with pain are the most effective.
When you use heat therapy, it helps improve blood flow to different areas of your body and relaxes your muscles. You can take a hot bath or use a heat wrap or heating pad. It’s easy and inexpensive.
For cold therapy, you’re slowing the blood flow to an area of your body experiencing pain. This prevents nerves from being able to send rapid pain messages, and it can reduce swelling.
Capsaicin is a compound in chili peppers, and it can be used topically to relieve pain. There are topical creams containing capsaicin and also patches available. It’s thought that this ingredient could reduce pain by lowering the skin’s sensitivity and affecting nociceptor fibers.
Having ginger tea, cooking with ginger, or adding raw ginger to smoothies can help serve as a natural pain reliever.
There was a 2015 review that found two grams of ginger per day led to a modest reduction in muscle pain when people took it for at least five days.
There’s evidence ginger can reduce inflammation and speed-up recovery related to exercise.
Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin is an anti-inflammatory that may relieve pain.
There was a small study in 2014 that found curcumin extract was as effective as ibuprofen for helping treat pain related to knee osteoarthritis when taken for four weeks. You can cook with turmeric, take a supplement, or add it to juices. You can also drink turmeric tea.
Always speak to your health care professional before starting any supplements.
Therapeutic massage can be a very effective way to cope with pain. When you go to a massage therapist, they can help work out the tension and soreness from muscles and joints. Massage also creates a competing sensation, which can help drown out the pain signals you may be feeling.
You might want to look for a therapist who specializes in helping people with pain.
Acupuncture is considered an alternative therapy, and many people find that it’s an effective pain-reliever.
In particular, acupuncture may help with neck pain, low back pain, and knee pain.
Acupuncture may be helpful in the prevention of headaches too, including migraine headaches and tension headaches.
An acupuncturist will use tiny needles that are inserted at specific points on your body to help with your pain. Many people find that acupuncture helps relieve stress and anxiety, as well.
Physical therapy is a pain treatment option that focuses on the long-term rather than short-term benefits. Your doctor may advise you to participate in physical therapy following an accident or injury.
When you go to a physical therapist, you learn how to strengthen your joints and stretch your muscles to alleviate pain.
Physical therapy works to treat the underlying sources of pain, rather than just masking it.
You can work with a physical therapist on regular exercises, and you can learn how to do things that will keep you moving while reducing your pain simultaneously.
TENS treatment stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. With TENS, the area where you experience pain is electrically stimulated.
A small device is attached to your skin to stimulate the nerves in the painful place.
Biofeedback is a technique where you focus on breathing and relaxation exercises, and there’s a biofeedback machine that then gathers data on your physiological functions like your blood pressure and heart rate. That data is turned into visual cues, and that helps you gain more control over your body’s response to pain.
Other mind-body techniques that can help with pain include mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation. These can all help you reduce your fight-or-flight response which can contribute to pain and muscle tension.