Chronic pain comes in many forms. For some, it results from a battle with a health condition, like fibromyalgia or diabetic neuropathy. For others, it comes from an injury.
However pain comes, most of us want nothing more than to be rid of it. But finding a way around pain isn’t always easy, especially when you are in a scenario where you can’t take pain medications. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce muscle pain without medication.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Most of us can relate to the experience of falling and having to apply an ice pack to the sore area. This idea can be applied to numerous forms of chronic pain, especially involving inflammation. Cold helps reduce blood flow to an area, reducing pain and swelling. It also helps reduce pain by slowing nerve activity.
When inflammation isn’t the problem, the muscles may be tense. This is when heat therapy is the better option. By applying a warm compress or soaking the area in warm water, blood flow increases to these areas, helping muscles to relax. Depending on the scenario, heat and cold therapy work well when done together.
Massage often has a reputation for being a luxury done in conjunction with beauty treatments. But massage has a long history of medical uses, and it can help reduce muscle pain without medication in several ways:
- Relax muscle tension
- Break up scar tissue
- Improve blood flow
- Reduce swelling
- Decompress the spine
Additionally, massage also helps reduce emotional tension by reducing your body’s cortisol production and increasing the production of feel-good endorphins. This helps you release the tension you may hold in your body because of stress.
Electrotherapy has a way of sounding extreme from the outside. Yet, it is far less invasive and more accessible than most realize, thanks to a technology known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS.
Although there are different types of TENS units, most function on similar principles. Users will attach several small electrodes to the pain site, and the electrodes send mild shocks into the muscles and nerves. This helps disrupt pain signals and increase endorphins for pain relief.
We all experience chronic pain sometimes, but medication isn’t the only way to help face the challenge. With ingenuity, we can help manage pain to get our daily lives back on track.