Chronic pain is a complex condition that affects an increasing number of people. Today, there are a variety of interventions to manage it. But which works best? That’s the question we ask in this post.
Massage isn’t just for soothing joints after a grueling workout. It’s also for pain management in general. Anyone with muscular aches can benefit from the practice.
The benefits of massage are substantial. It reduces inflammation, improves circulation, and slashes stiffness. It also helps some people move their bodies more flexibly.
Many physicians swear by various types of physical therapy. These can adjust the body, strengthen and stretch muscles and joints, and lead to a realignment that fights pain at the source and doesn’t just mask symptoms.
Going to a chiropractor is one option, particularly if you have a posture-related pain issue or injury. However, the exact technique you receive will depend on the affected body part.
Acupuncture is an ancient technique that involves pricking the body with pins. Long considered a form of complementary medicine, it may be the most effective technique for pain management available. Many people with intractable chronic pain find that it helps them deal with their condition and get a better grip on it.
The range of chronic pain-causing diseases that acupuncture can address is remarkably long and includes osteoarthritis, back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain. Acupuncture evidence suggests that the technique can cut muscle spasms and improve relaxation over the long term.
Yoga seems like such a simple thing, but it has a powerful effect on the body. The ancient practice increases flexibility, strength, and fitness by guiding you through a series of body-enhancing moves.
The same goes for Tai Chi. The ancient Chinese practice helps to improve circulation and quiets the mind. It is also gentle on the joints, making it a great option for older people trying to manage chronic pain.
Studies have found that both these techniques effectively reduce the pain levels a person experiences. They are also accessible for beginners to start.
Many people with chronic pain find that the experience of the pain makes them feel agitated, worsening symptoms. The trick here is to find techniques that help the body to relax, including deep breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation. These activate the body’s nervous system, relieving tension and allowing it to enter its “rest and digest” state. Once the body goes into this mode, pain often becomes less intense or disappears entirely.
Some people may find calming activities superior. These include things like warm baths, reading books and crafting.
With repeated practice, many relaxation techniques can actually start to chip away at the underlying causes of chronic pain. As the mind and body become trained to feel differently about life, tension and pain may disappear or only return during episodes of life stress or challenges.
If you’re struggling with chronic pain, try some of these techniques and see if they work for you.