Chronic pain refers to pain that persists for three months or longer. Common types of chronic pain include back pain, headaches, joint pain, and nerve pain which can significantly decrease one’s quality of life. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, talk to your doctor about your symptoms to help identify the source and develop a comprehensive treatment plan based on your unique situation and lifestyle. Below are some effective ways to treat chronic pain that they may recommend. Often, a combination of these treatments is used for the most effective results.
Chiropractic care can help manage chronic pain by addressing the source of where many types of chronic pain stem from—the spine and nervous system. Spinal misalignments can result in compressed, damaged, or inflamed nerves, which can cause feelings of pain in various areas of the body. By facilitating proper spinal alignment, chiropractic treatment can resolve such issues and allow the body to heal itself, potentially reducing and even eliminating pain entirely.
Physical therapy is a common element of many comprehensive chronic pain treatment plans. It involves physical treatment methods such as exercises, stretches, or massage, which can help alleviate pain and aid in the healing of injury, disease, or deformity. As chronic pain can be debilitating, physical therapy will also help improve one’s ability to carry out their regular daily activities by improving impaired movement and function.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that involves inserting thin, flexible needles into specific points on the body. In doing so, acupuncture is believed to help alleviate pain by triggering the release of endorphins— neurotransmitters that interact with opiate receptors to reduce feelings of pain. As such, receiving regular acupuncture therapy could help reduce chronic pain’s intensity.
Mind-body techniques are designed to help improve the mind’s ability to impact the body’s functions and symptoms. In doing so, they can help alleviate discomfort in the form of chronic pain. Examples of common mind-body therapies include meditation, hypnosis, visualization, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques.