Are You Suffering From Chronic Pain?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, chronic pain can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months, and it affects some 25 million Americans.
Chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of your body. Pain can be felt in various areas and be near-constant, sharp or dull, with flares of more intense pain due to increases in stress or activity.
Common types of chronic pain include:
- post-surgical pain
- lower back pain
- arthritis pain
- nerve pain (caused by nerve damage)
Common symptoms of chronic pain include:
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- fatigue – sleep disturbance
- loss of stamina and flexibility
- mental health (depression, anxiety)
While medication(s) is commonly prescribed to help manage, long-term use has the effect of increasing sensitivity to the pain. Furthermore, long-term use of any prescription pain-pills can lead to dependence/addiction while bringing on detrimental health effects. However, this scenario isn’t the only alternative in this viscous cycle.
Potential Alternative Treatments include:
1) Increase your Omega-3s
Recent study published in Arthritis Care & Research reported consumption of dietary Omega-3 (but not supplements) eases pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). According to Dr. Oz, researchers suggest that such pain-reliving benefits may happen because Omega-3 boost production of resolvins (that’s the name!) that tamp down inflammatory immune responses and reduce nerve inflammation.
2) Heal Yourself with Heat
- Moist heat:
Heat is a superb soother of sore muscles and joints. It increases blood flow through the dilation of the vessels and helps to decrease inflammation and pain; moist heat, such as a Jacuzzi, dry or steam sauna, is a highly effective way to apply this natural pain reliever.
- Infrared Heat
Infrared saunas are a type of sauna that uses heat and light waves to help relax muscles, reduce joint stiffness, and detoxify the body. Also called far-infrared or near-infrared, this type of sauna will distribute energy and penetrate in to the body approx 4cm to 7cm deep in the muscles and bone, causing you to sweat and release stored “toxins.” With this notion, it accelerates blood circulation while improving skin. Study shows heart-healthy, pain-reducing, life-extending benefits of infrared saunas, according to Dr. Axe. Ask us about a treatment session!
3) Massage & Stretch Therapy
Massage therapy helps to keep muscle integrity and repatterns soft tissue through manual manipulation. With this mindset massage promotes relaxation, decreases muscle tension/joint stiffness, and relieves pain to bring about a healing approach. Other benefits include:
- Lowers stress level
- Lessens migraine pain
- Increases flexibility and range of motion
Stretching exercises help to elongate muscles, increase range-of-motion, and prevent injury. It also helps to alleviate deep muscle pain and stiffness. To gain the strengthening benefit without causing further pain or injury, appropriate technique is very important. Talk with your service provider to have a specific program planned with your pain needs in mind.