Finding relief from chronic pain can feel similar to finding a unicorn. Chronic pain affects more Americans than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes cases combined, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The American Pain Foundation estimates 76 million people in the U.S. deal with chronic pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
The National Institutes of Health defines pain as chronic when it lasts longer than 12 weeks. Often, it’s caused by a specific event (injury or illness) that leaves the body with lasting repercussions. However, some cases of chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose!
There are times when a patient’s physical agony has no identifiable starting place. There’s no foolproof way (with current medical science) to locate the exact source and treatments become trial-and-error.
If you can’t accurately pinpoint the source, it’s hard for conventional doctors to offer a permanent relief of chronic pain by resolving the cause…they treat the symptom.
“Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself,” Dr. Albert Schweitzer (French physician in 1931)
Additionally, severe pain to one individual may be mild to another because each person’s perception and tolerance can vary wildly. We have no way to “measure” pain in a human being.
Drugs to the Rescue!
There are drugs for pain, right? Yes. There are many drugs for the purpose of pain management. “Even if we prescribe medication, we are still only going to take away between 50 and 60 percent of your pain,” Dr. James Dillard. From the beginning, they aren’t entirely effective.
Drugs may help with acute (temporary) pain, caused by a recent injury, but over time (weeks, months, or years), your body adapts to opiates and anti-inflammatories.
Once that happens, those particular drugs (or drug families) no longer work. It’s then a matter of higher and higher doses or starting over with other drugs or modalities to find the right combination so you can function.
The inability to find relief from chronic pain is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States.
The ripple effect caused by chronic pain, the ineffectiveness of drug therapies long-term, and the incredible list of side effects (from addiction to suicidal thoughts) has finally shown the conventional medical community that better options are needed.
This alternative doc has been trying to explain this simple concept for years.
Chronic pain relief cannot come in the form of a temporary (and possibly addictive) drug. Not to mention, the healthcare costs associated with pain management represent a massive drain on financial and support resources – personally and globally.
Complementary Solutions to Relieve Chronic Pain
Lessening daily agony can be exhausting and feel almost hopeless but it doesn’t have to be this way. The ancient Greeks and Romans had it right. They believed that the human brain plays a significant role in your overall perception of pain.
In the past two decades, researchers realized not all pain has a source that can be determined. They discovered that emotional and mental wellness drastically impact your physical wellness.
Bringing the brain into the healing process was critical.
Explained Dr. Martin Rossman, author of Guided Imagery for Self-Healing, “Acute pain appears in areas of the brain that are connected to tissue damage…chronic pain lives in other areas of the brain (the prefrontal cortex and limbic system), which the brain uses for [emotional] memories. The pain lives on long past the time when the body tissues have healed.”
You can overwrite these memories. In essence, re-train your brain to create new pathways that aren’t well-worn with the nerve impulses created by ongoing pain.
It requires a three-pronged approach…
- Biological – searching out the root cause of the pain.
- Psychological – easing anxiety, depression, and frustration caused by pain.
- Social – ensuring you’re still able to function in your daily life.
I’m going to give you a list of ten methods that have shown incredible promise in the scientific field in long-term relief of chronic pain. Some will ease the pain itself. Others will help you cope or improve the quality of your daily life.
- Lowering your stress levels (professionally, personally)
- Yoga, tai-chi, and gentle stretching exercises
- Eating more omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and fish
- Adding ginger and turmeric to your diet
- Meditation (especially guided imagery) and deep breathing
- Learn the practice of biofeedback (or use a machine)
- Acupuncture or acupressure (for those shy of needles)
- Get a massage
- Chiropractic adjustment
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
When pain comes calling in your life…be ready. You don’t have to count the minutes until your next pain pill. There are so many other options and I want to share them with you in my book “Natural Pain Relief” right now. You don’t have to hurt anymore. You can experience natural relief from chronic pain!