Chronic pain is something that can end up taking over a person’s life. Whether it’s from an initial injury (for example, the result of a car accident or fall) or an illness, chronic pain is a real and common problem. What makes things worse is that a lot of people don’t like to talk about their chronic pain because they find it embarrassing or fear other people becoming tired of their complaints.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Since chronic pain is a symptom of many diseases or infections, it is more common than you would think. This means that people who you wouldn’t even imagine have chronic pain, could actually be suffering in silence.
Whether you’re experiencing chronic pain because of an established condition, such as arthritis, or you’re in pain due to lifestyle factors, such as poor posture, there are steps you can take to alleviate discomfort, such as:
How to Treat Chronic Pain – Non-surgical Options
Modern medicine is something that usually doesn’t mesh well with chronic pain. Doctors usually prescribe pills that can be addictive, or an invasive surgery that could easily go wrong. If you’ve been too scared to go to the doctors, don’t worry. There are plenty of more natural, non-invasive ways to try to treat and maintain your chronic pain.
Chronic pain is often aggravated by inflammation, because the tissues get larger and push on the painful areas. There are many different diets that you can look into to help with anti-inflammation. It will require some outside research to figure out which diet will work best for you.
Some examples to get you started on your journey:
- Pan Asian Modified Mediterranean
- The Arthritis Foundation Anti Inflammatory diet
- Diets that Avoid Refined Sugars and Carbohydrates
- Vegetarian/Vegan Diets
When you are choosing foods to help fight inflammation, you should always look at the labels and see what ingredients are being used. If you can’t read or understand most of what is on the label, put it back on the shelf.
Additional Information: Differences Between the South Beach Diet vs Nutrisystem
Herbs and Essential Oils
There are a lot of different herbs, roots, and essential oils that help with specific areas of pain. It all depends on what areas are paining you the most.
If you have back and joint pain, here are some solutions for you:
Turmeric is a root that is related to ginger. It is a great spice for cooking, or it can be brewed into a tea. Another herb that can be used is a Devil’s Claw Root, which is taken as a compound (about 30-100 milligrams a day).
A common form of chronic pain is headaches. The best natural remedy for this is white willow bark. It has active salicin, which tames inflammation. Brew it as tea or take it as a capsule. Two other herbs that might help with headaches are feverfew and butterbur, but be aware that they haven’t been researched quite as much.
Learn More: How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work for Pain?
If the diet and herbs/essential oils are not adequately helping your pain, it might be time to see a professional. But that doesn’t mean that you need to go to a traditional doctor. A regenerative procedure is an extremely non-invasive stem cell injection used most often for chronic pain in joints. These stem cells encourage your body to repair itself.
This way, your own body is doing most of the work; it’s just getting a little help from stem cells (which are usually taken from the patient’s own body anyway).
These procedures should be researched before going any further, of course; so websites like Chronic Care of Richmond are helpful for learning more. If you finally decide to follow through with regenerative treatment, make sure that you are going to a reputable clinic with all the correct licenses and qualifications to practice these procedures.
Why Should Stem Cells Be Used?
Stem cells are physical parts of the body responsible for the development and regeneration of organs and tissues. The cells are found in fat tissue, bone marrow, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, and umbilical cord tissue.
The primary items used in stem cell treatment are mesenchymal stem cells. These types of stem cells, also known as MSCs, are unique in that they have the ability to inhibit the inflammation of tissue damage and secrete growth factors to aid tissue repair.
Umbilical cord tissue contains a high source of MSCs and these types of stem cells are being used more increasingly in treatments for regenerative diseases, such as ALS and heart and kidney conditions.
The umbilical tissue is arguably the richest source of MSCs and these are being researched as a treatment for degenerative medical conditions and tissue injuries.
According to literature in the May publication of the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery [i], the use of stem cell-based therapy in sports medicine has increased in recent years with the use of this sports injury treatment being available for orthopedic injuries.
The goal of steam cell treatment in orthopedics assists with the reparation and regeneration of different tissues in the body, such as the tendon, the cartilage, and the muscles.
Research has found positive outcomes for these treatments; however, many more trials need to be completed to confirm the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapies.
See Also: Do You Need to Consult an Orthopedic Doctor?
What About Cell-Based Treatment For Cartilage, Knee Tendon, And Meniscus Repair?
The majority of tissue-engineering techniques applied to small animal models have presented with promise regarding the preservation of the meniscus in cell-based therapy.
Research has shown that the evaluated outcomes of stem cells are derived from bone marrow and this is used to treat factors involving bone with cartilage of the joint.
When injecting joints with bone marrow derived MSCs shows an improvement in cartilage repair.
MSCs can be used as a form of therapy for injury to Achilles tendon. Stem cells have different advantages as a sports injury treatment over bone marrow because they are easier to collect and show a greater tolerance of tissue mismatching. The amount of research on cellular therapy continues and the opportunity for growth proves to be limitless with numbers amounts of application.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Temperature can have a significant impact on joint pain and muscle stiffness. Many people find that a hot shower or bath relieves tension and promotes relaxation. This helps minimize stiffness, thus reducing your discomfort and increasing your range of motion.
Cold therapy, such as applying a gel ice pack, can work well for joint inflammation, pain, and swelling, while heat therapy is often recommended for maintaining looseness in the joints. Heat pads and hot water bottles can be an effective and safe way to apply heat to the affected areas.
You can also try alternating hot and cold therapy, such as by taking a contrast shower.
Change Your Mattress
Many people experience joint pain and muscle stiffness when they first wake up in the morning. If you routinely experience discomfort upon waking, it is important to assess your sleeping arrangements. You may find that your mattress is causing or contributing to the ongoing pain you’re experiencing.
This is especially important for chronic back pain.
Switching to another mattress is often the most effective way to tackle this problem. Memory foam mattresses, in particular, are particularly beneficial for people who experience stiffness or discomfort. As the mattress contours to your body and provides targeted support, it minimizes the pressure on your joints throughout the night.
Often, sleeping on the right type of mattress affects your sleep quality too. If you routinely wake up because you’re uncomfortable, you may find that memory foam enables you to sleep through the night. Try one if you’re a light sleeper and keep a sleep journal so you can note the changes.
With the right mattress, you can successfully eradicate discomfort and enhance your sleep quality too.
Related Information: How to Treat Text Neck
When you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, exercise can be the last thing you want to do. However, if your doctor doesn’t advise against it, extra movement may actually help to relieve your pain. By engaging in gentle exercise, you are encouraging the joints to loosen. As a result, they will be less stiff and uncomfortable.
When you make exercise an essential part of your daily routine, the effect is amplified, which can lead to long-term relief from stiffness and discomfort. Exercise that has a reduced impact on joints may be the most beneficial, so why not try cycling, swimming or yoga to relieve joint stiffness?
Mindfulness and Meditation
Dealing with chronic discomfort or an ongoing health problem can affect your emotional well-being, as well as your physical health. In some cases, how people think about their discomfort increases the impact it has on their mind and their lifestyle.
Both mindfulness and meditation can be used to reduce our perception of pain and discomfort.
According to a study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain,
“Two hundred twenty-five chronic pain patients were studied following training in mindfulness meditation. Large and significant overall improvements were recorded post-intervention in physical and psychological status.”
When we successfully change our response to chronic joint or muscle stiffness, we reduce the impact it has on us. While you may still experience some physical discomfort, mindfulness and meditation can make it seem less invasive, detrimental and limiting.
Learn More: Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Concluding Thoughts – Chronic Pain Management Treatments
If you experience joint discomfort, pain or stiffness, there are a range of natural options to try. Whether your symptoms are caused by poor mattress quality, reduced movement or a medical condition, natural interventions can minimize your pain or relieve it entirely.
Being beset with chronic pain doesn’t have to mean the of the world. There are plenty of natural ways for you to handle the chronic pain and get back to your old self – it’s all about seeking new treatments and committing to lifestyle changes.
Read Next: DIY Joint Pain Relief