Chronic pain is a serious medical and mental health concern. Whether you’re living with chronic pain due to illness or injury, managing your pain effectively is important for overall wellbeing and daily living. While treatment options may vary depending on your specific circumstances, consider discussing the following traditional and alternative pain management practices with your doctor:
An interdisciplinary pain management program. This holistic approach to pain management involves you working actively with a team of healthcare professionals, from doctors and nurses to nutritionists and psychologists to achieve a maximum level of comfort. This type of program focuses on you overall, as opposed to simply concentrating on your pain.
Medication. Over the counter and/or prescription pain relievers, also called analgesics, and other medications may be helpful in relieving symptoms and managing your pain temporarily or long-term. Medications can range from aspirin to acetaminophen to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to opioids. Discuss medications, dosage, usage instructions as well as possible side effects with your physician.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture has a long history of use in Chinese medicine. While it's benefits are the subject of ongoing research, studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in relieving headache, back pain, joint pain and other types of pain. With virtually no side effects, acupuncture may be a good addition to traditional forms of pain management.
Meditation. Meditation and other relaxation techniques can sometimes help with not only chronic pain, but the depression that often accompanies it. From back pain, to migraine headaches to fibromyalgia, meditation can sometimes prove to be a beneficial means of pain management.
Other pain management techniques. When living with chronic pain, it often pays to explore all possible remedies. What is effective can vary from person to person.