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Medication isn’t the only way to relieve pain.
After an injury or accident, or while experiencing chronic pain, you might try over-the-counter pain relievers or get a prescription for more powerful drugs. Both kinds of pain relievers, however, can have side effects. If you’re going through rehabilitation and dealing with pain, you might want to consider alternative pain relief methods.
Methods of relaxing the body can reduce pain, especially chronic pain. Some of the specific techniques for achieving relief include:
- Mindfulness meditation – This calls for focusing only on the current moment, and not judging any thoughts, feelings, or sensations in the body—such as pain.
- Breathing exercise – This focused breathing is meant to relieve pain. It requires paying close attention to each inhale and exhale, which should be as deep as possible. During breathing exercises, practitioners are encouraged to keep their shoulders and stomach relaxed.
- Progressive relaxation – Starting at either the top of the head or the toes, patients tighten and then relax the muscles in each major region of the body.
- Hypnosis – Done either with a trained practitioner or alone, a sequence of steps leads a patient into deep relaxation.
Acupuncture has been used in China for several thousand years to reduce pain. A doctor places thin metal needles into points on the surface of the skin that correspond to the part of the body experiencing pain. Acupuncture has been to shown to help with:
- Lower-back pain
- Neck pain
- Certain headaches
A number of supplements are thought to help pain, especially the pain of osteoarthritis. Some of these include:
- Capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers that gives them their heat
- SAM-e, an amino acid
- Fish oil, which helps reduce inflammation
- Glucosamine and chondroitin, which, when taken together, are especially helpful with severe knee arthritis.
This form of therapy, initially developed to treat various psychological conditions, has also been shown to help patients cope with chronic pain.
When you need rehabilitation to ease pain and restore mobility, Therapy Services at North Hills Hospital are ready to help. For more information about both inpatient and outpatient services, call (817) 255-1672.