Living with chronic pain can make life unbearable but that’s what millions of people in the country go through. To help these people live better lives, doctors end up prescribing painkillers, some of which are opioids.
Also known as narcotic drugs, opioids are great for acute pain such as broken bones but are not ideal for chronic pain like arthritis. This is because taking them for a long time increases the chance of addiction. They also have side effects, some of which may be life-threatening.
So if opioids are out of the question, what options do you have to manage chronic pain?
Here are 5 alternatives to try:
Over-the-counter pain medication
OTC medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol or Panadol) or Ibuprofen (Advil o Motrin) are equally effective at easing pain. These medicines are available without prescriptions and can be safely taken along with others, with minimal side effects.
Cold and heat treatment
Applying heat compresses or cold packs to painful or sore muscles and joints are tried and true methods of pain relief. Cold works by decreasing inflammation and muscle spasms hence relieving pain while heat helps to relax tight muscles. If these homemade compresses and packs don’t do the trick, you can ask a physician for modern methods along the same theme e.g. cold laser therapy or radiofrequency ablation.
Doing any kind of exercise while in chronic pain is the last thing anyone wants. However, aerobic exercises like cycling, walking, and swimming stimulate blood flow and loosen tight muscles, helping to relieve pain.
Most people go for physiotherapy after an accident or medical condition leaves them in chronic pain. During physiotherapy sessions, a physiotherapist guides you through a series of exercises designed to help improve the range of movement and function in affected muscles. As you stretch and strengthen these muscles, you’re also reducing strain on them, which in turn alleviates any pain.
Yoga and tai chi
These methods are especially good for alleviating low back pain or arthritis. Combining breathing techniques with gentle stretches, movements, and poses, yoga and tai chi help restore balance in the body. Stretching your muscles improves their flexibility, reduces tension, and improves blood circulation, all of which work to ease any muscle or joint pain you may be experiencing.
Get Help Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, seeking help now can help prevent more damage to the body. At the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery, we have a range of addiction treatment options that can help you. This includes a detox program in Kentucky as well as an intensive outpatient program and a family therapy program.
Reach out to us today and let’s help you rebuild a life that’s free from addiction.