Pain relief is not a one size fits all. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Pain is a strong signal to stop what you’re doing and correct course now.
If you are in pain, don’t just mask it with pharmaceutical medication, or ignore it. Consider these evidence-based therapies.
There’s good evidence chiropractic care helps alleviate lower back pain, including some evidence suggesting it works as well as medication. Chiropractic care is also helpful with joint, neck, and shoulder pain and tension headaches. Chiropractors also help you with tips for exercises and how to modify the behavior contributing to your pain.
Several studies have shown that massage helps alleviate headaches and muscle or joint pain in the back, hip, knees, and neck.
Overall, studies show acupuncture does help to treat pain.
Biofeedback, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
There is plenty of new research showing that these techniques help to lower pain intensity, improve coping abilities and reduced the incidence of pain related depression.
Avoid or Be Careful with Pharmaceutical Pain Treatment
Not as effective at relieving pain but has less side effects. Overuse is the leading cause of liver damage. Should limit use to no more than 3,250 mg within 24 hours. Acetaminophen is a better option for those with acid reflux or ulcers. ACETAMINOPHEN IS IN A LOT OF OTC PRODUCTS, SO IT ADDS UP. BE CAREFUL!
B. NSAIDS: ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN (ADVIL AND GENERIC) OR NAPROXEN (ALEVE OR GENERIC)
These are not good for long term use as they put you at risk for bleeding in the intestines, kidney failure, heart attacks (Naproxen less so), stomach ulcers, and stroke. Aspirin can cause stomach bleeding even at low doses.
C. MUSCLE RELAXANTS
If you use these, reserve for acute severe neck or back spasms or muscle spas-city due to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or a stroke. Anyone over 65 should not use muscle relaxants.
D. OXYCODONE AND HYDROCODONE
These drugs do not treat the problem of the pain and can be highly addictive. If ever used, they should only be used for a few days. Side effects are abdominal cramps, constipation, nausea, sedation, and vomiting. Analysis of studies show opioids didn’t relieve pain over the long term.
This article is a summary of Consumer Reports June 2016 Pain Relief: The Secret Life of Pain, Globe and Mail article by David C. Roberts, August 10, 2017 and Scientific American Mind May/June 2017 Special Report Pain: New Ways to Find Relief without Opioids.