Alternative Pain Management, Part #10
Continuing our blog series on “Pain”. Submitted by guest author, Kevin Samuels, Outreach Coordinator, Flowers Health: https://jflowershealth.com/
There may be alternative treatments to help address pain. It’s always recommended to discuss any treatments with a doctor or medical professional. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another.
Start with the easiest alternative treatments and write down how you feel after a month of practice. If results are positive, doctors may consider continuing the treatment for an extended period.
Some alternative pain treatments to consider:
— Massage: may help relieve pain associated with RA and fibromyalgia
— Acupuncture: may work for pain due to osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia
— Meditation: studies suggest that mindfulness meditation improves pain perception and may reduce depressive symptoms
— Hypnosis: useful in treating cancer pain and back pain
Psychological and Behavioral Treatment
Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is an integral part of chronic pain treatment. It has no direct effect on pain severity. However, it can help improve other pain-related conditions, including depression, anxiety, and fear of pain.
Two forms of psychotherapy have shown promising results in many studies. They are:
— Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: ACT is short-term psychotherapy. There are two approaches to pain perception in ACT. First, ACT teaches the patient to accept things that are beyond their control. Second, it encourages the patient to feel things as they are rather than questioning their existence. ACT may be useful in treating lower back pain, leg pain, and neck pain.
— Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: CBT educates people about the relationship between pain, mood, and behavior. It also teaches relaxation strategies. Patients will learn measures to replace distorted thoughts about pain with positive thoughts.
CBT is likely to be most effective in treating chronic pain caused by:
– Chronic migraines
– Irritable bowel syndrome
– Multiple sclerosis
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Spinal cord injury
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