Tips On Pain Relief
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Step into a pharmacy and you are confronted with the hearts of pain relief options. Be it pills, ointments, gels, rubs and, yes, even plasters, deciding what will actually help you is a pain in the neck. But pain relief is not limited to medications. Here's a list of some other options that may be helpful:
Alternative methods of pain relief are becoming increasingly popular in the western world. However, many of these treatments have their origins in Eastern traditional medicine. One such example is acupuncture. Now recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a potential therapeutic measure for more than 30 conditions, pain relief is one of the main uses of acupuncture.
The use of acupuncture in medicine can be traced back more than 2500 years to ancient China, where doctors believed that diseases were the result of energy imbalances in the body. To return the body to its balanced state, 3-15 disposable, stainless steel needles are inserted into the skin according to the meridians of the body. Interestingly, the insertion sites are not necessarily those affected by pain.
The sites where the needles are inserted are normally close to nerves, and when stimulated, send a message to the muscles. The muscles, in turn, send a message to the central nervous system, resulting in the release of endorphins (chemicals in our body that prevent the brain from registering pain).
Chiropractic treatment seems to be the go-to method for those who want extra help for their pain, specifically back pain. Unlike acupuncture, which is based on the theory of energy imbalance, chiropractic treatment works on the idea that realignment of the musculoskeletal structure of the body will promote healing without the use of medical or surgical options.
Using this theory, chiropractors manipulate various joints using sudden, but controlled, forceful movements, in order to restore mobility to injured joints. Chiropractic therapy is often used as adjunct treatment to medical intervention. Practitioners are trained professionals who will first evaluate the patient to make sure this form of therapy will help in the healing process and not cause more harm. Therefore, expect your chiropractor to take a complete medical history and conduct a physical examination prior to treatment. He / she may also request imaging or various other tests to be done first. This is particularly important if you have pre-existing medical conditions, which are contraindications for chiropractic therapy.
No, you do not have to be in pain to understand the emotional and physical healing abilities of a good massage. Neverheless, massage therapy is becoming increasingly popular for those who suffer pain as a result of an injury or strain.
Massages work by stimulating the nerves responsible for pain signals, while stimulating blood circulation through the body. If you are dealing with acute or chronic pain, do not settle for any type of massage. Seek out a trained massage therapist, preferably one who specializes in sports, orthopedic or neuromuscular massage therapy.
Massages are more effective when the pain is caused by an injury to the soft tissues, and should be avoided if joint injury is the cause. The use of aromatherapy oils during a massage may further help alleviate pain. The most popular essential oils for this purpose are lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and vetiver.
Some of the most common are anti-inflammatory gels and rubs. These topical applications treat the inflammation caused by the body's reaction to an injury. They are quite effective in providing temporary pain relief and in reducing inflammation.
Another popular option is the heat rub. When applied to the affected area, it dilates the blood vessels, which, in turn, results in a sense of warmth. This warmth masks the pain sensation, while the massaging activity stimulates the nerves that carry pain signals, further masking the pain.
Cold packs can also be used in the case of an injury, but should be limited to the first 72 hours, after which hot compresses may be more suitable.
By Aaron Wan