Everyone experiences pain in life, and some take medication when pain strikes. Some people, on the other hand, don’t want to use pain medication for health reasons or because of the side effects of the drug. However, other alternatives exist for pain and can be quite effective.
Mind Over Pain
Not giving in to a negative mindset when pain strikes can help instead of using pain medication. This technique is called “mindfulness” and has been used with great success. Instead of becoming depressed and feeling angry or sad about pain, people focus instead on happier elements of their lives that give them pleasure. Refusing to feel negative emotions about pain brings a sense of peace to the situation. This mental peace makes the pain much easier to handle.
Using Heat for Pain Relief
Heat is probably the most universally used remedy for pain and has been used for centuries. Using a heating pad, a hot water bottle or a warm bath can relax aching muscles, relieve cramping and take the edge of persistent soreness from over exertion.
It’s important to note when using sources of heat for an extended period, like overnight, that care should be taken not to damage the skin. Blistering can occur if an external heat is used too long or at too high temperatures. Using a heating pad equipped with a timer can help in this situation. Even if you fall asleep with the heating pad on, it will turn itself off after a certain amount of time.
Pain Relief With Ice
When inflammation or swelling causes pain, applying an ice pack, or cold pack can be the answer. The cold temperatures of ice provide a numbing sensation that will eliminate pain in the applied area. Ice remains the best choice for sore back muscles, arthritis or an injury that involves swollen tissues.
As with heat, long-term bodily exposure to the effects of ice can damage the skin. Don’t leave ice on too long or apply ice directly on the skin. Use a barrier, such a towel to wrap the ice or ice pack for protection.
Acupuncture relies on the use of needles to provide pain relief and should be performed by a professional. This ancient method of healing has a loyal following that claims the method is effective against pain.
Spices: Cloves and Turmeric
Spices provide a cost-effective alternative to prescription medications as well as flavor food. Cloves relieve toothache pain and calm the inflammation associated with arthritis, while turmeric helps with digestive disorders as well as arthritis pain. Always inform your doctor if you decide to use these spices to treat a chronic condition to discuss any possible side effects.
Used by Native American tribes for pain relief, the bark of the willow tree is the ancestor of aspirin. Willow bark can be steeped into a tea and used for headaches and other bodily pain.
When to Seek Medical Care
Always seek medical care if pain becomes severe, does not diminish in intensity with treatment or lasts for an extended period. When seeking alternative treatment, you should always inform your doctor of your intent.
Speak with one of PrimeCare Urgent Care's knowledgeable physicians for help with pain management without pain medication. Contact us today or stop by our office for assistance!