Pharmaceuticals in the United States are a $340 billion a year industry and growing. Prescription drugs are developed and made available to cure nearly every imaginable ailment—from insomnia to anxiety to impotence. Pharmaceutical drugs developed for pain relief are particularly prevalent and are used on a regular basis by over 200 million Americans. Unfortunately, these pain killers are also highly addictive and can be extremely dangerous if they are abused or used incorrectly. Because of the risks involved with prescription pain killers, many people choose to seek alternative methods to relieving their pain. Below we examine four ways that people treat pain without the use of prescription medication.
This ancient Chinese medical practice is still widely used by people looking to relieve their pain without the use of prescription medication. Through the strategic placement of stainless steel needles to the body’s 14 energy meridians, pain and other ailments are thought to be decreased. Acupuncture’s effectiveness is rooted in the release of endorphins that is triggered by the placement of the needles. These endorphins work with other neurotransmitters to block pain messages from various parts of the body from reaching the brain.
Medical laser equipment is being used more and more to treat everything from cancerous tumors to acne. Laser therapy has also been applied in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Through the use of low-level laser, cold laser therapy has been shown to effectively treat certain types of arthritis, increase the speed of wound healing, and provide relief for chronic back and neck pain.
Chiropractic Treatment and Massage Therapy
Chiropractic care and massage therapy are the most common non-surgical treatments for chronic back and neck pain. Many people wanting a medication-free alternative to pain relief have sought treatment from chiropractors, who attempt to relieve symptoms by readjusting the body’s spinal alignment. Massages are thought to be an effective pain relief treatment through the enhancement of blood flow, along with the release of tension and stress in the muscles.
Hypnosis and Meditation
Relaxation is a major contributor to the relief of chronic pain. Through hypnosis and meditative techniques, those in need of pain relief can enhance their ability to concentrate, minimize distractions, and increase the brain’s responsiveness to positive suggestion aimed at improving physical well-being. Hypnotherapy, as it is sometimes called, is not designed to be a stand-alone treatment for pain. However, when combined with other non-medical pain relief treatments, hypnotherapy can greatly enhance treatment effectiveness for some individuals.