Pain relief and pain management are not a “one size fits all” approach. Everyone experiences pain differently. In fact, two people with the same condition could feel different levels of pain. However, due to the opioid epidemic and side effects of these stronger pain medicines, more pain management doctors have been focusing on non-drug therapies and only using prescription pain medicines when other methods have failed. Let’s take a look at some of these methods.
Non-Drug Pain Management Treatments
Physical therapy is an effective pain management treatment approach for injuries and chronic pain. Physical therapy focuses on exercises and stretches that help make the body stronger and more able to function and move. To see the best results, physical therapy often requires multiple office sessions as well as practicing the exercises at home.
To treat pain, physical therapists try to locate the source of your pain - such as a tensed or stiff muscle. Tensed muscles, for example, could be causing the pain directly or could be making your chronic pain worse. Once the problem has been identified, a physical therapy session could include strengthening exercises, low impact aerobics, and pain relief stretches.
Our minds can affect how we perceive and experience pain. Stress and anxiety can even make chronic pain worse. Therefore, body-mind therapies are useful for helping patients better cope with the pain and stress. Body-mind therapy works by teaching patients how to manage their emotions, thoughts, stress, and the body’s physical responses. Types of body-mind therapies include meditation, breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques.
These therapies help the body relax and calm down. When stressed or anxious, our muscles tense up and our blood pressure rises. If we are chronically stressed or anxious, this puts our bodies in a constant state of tension. This can lead to chronic pain or can aggravate the pain further. Therefore, breaking this vicious cycle of pain and negative emotions is important.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, massage therapy participants reported less pain, anxiety, and depression (compared to a relaxation group of patients). Massage therapy participants also reported improved sleep and showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance. They also had higher levels of serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine are two key neurotransmitters that affect our mood. Unbalanced levels of these two neurotransmitters are linked to anxiety and depression disorders.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a common, non-invasive treatment option for pain management. TENS involves stimulating a painful area with low voltage electrical current. The current is passed through electrodes that are attached to the skin of the painful area. The current travels through the nerves and disrupts the pain signals being sent to the brain. TENS is often used to treat muscle and joint pain - such as back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.
Pain Management Specialists
Don’t needlessly suffer from chronic pain. Consider seeking out a pain management doctor. Such doctors are specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. If you are looking for pain management in Las Vegas, contact Apex Medical Center. We have 3 convenient locations in the Vegas and Henderson area.
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