When it comes to minor aches and pains, many people reach for a painkiller for relief. But chronic pain is a different story and can lead to long-term reliance on opioids. There is no guarantee that these medications will reduce pain and they can actually exacerbate problems. Taking a more holistic approach can improve your quality of life while reducing risk of prescription drug addiction.
- Acceptance: When you accept that chronic pain is a part of your life, you can work with it instead of against it. Anger and frustration can make pain worse as you build up tension in your muscles and restrict circulation.
- Physical Activity: Staying active and incorporating exercise into your daily routine can ease pain. While you may be stiffer at first, as your muscles relax and your joints become more flexible, it can be soothing.
- Nutrition: Certain foods can trigger inflammation of the joints, so being mindful of your diet and planning meals that limit these foods can be a natural way of managing pain. You can also incorporate foods with anti-inflammatory properties such as walnuts, kale, green tea, oily fish, cherries, and blueberries.
- Meditation/Breathing: Deep breathing can ease muscle tension and relieve pain, while meditation can put you in a more positive frame of mind. When you are able to focus your thoughts, it can help you to work through pain in a more proactive way. You don’t have to let chronic pain dominate your thinking.
There are also several non-habit forming prescription drugs for specific forms of chronic pain that can be beneficial. While some people have developed a treatment plan that includes opioid medications and are able to effectively manage their pain, for others, these medications don’t work as well. If you are taking prescription drugs and your pain is not managed well, you’re spending a lot of time in bed, and it’s taking a toll on your mental health, it may be time to opt for healthier, opiate-free alternatives. What holistic methods have you found beneficial for dealing with pain? Share with us on Facebook!