Suffering from long-term pain is a serious condition that can affect your entire life. It can interrupt your daily routine, sleep schedule, and can even cause depression. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies estimated that over 100 million Americans suffer from long-term pain. Many individuals faced with these conditions use prescription medicine, but this method isn’t always effective and can sometimes lead to addiction.

If you’re looking for an alternative method for your pain management, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got six solutions that just may work for you!

1. Mindfully Meditate Your Pain Away

This form of exercise is (obviously) more mental based rather than physical. It’s not about exercising your body; it’s about retraining your mind to deal with the presence of pain. Meditation can teach you to cultivate a calm mental state instead of focusing on the pain you may be feeling. Several studies have shown that although meditation does not cure chronic pain, it can definitely help minimize the pain and make it more manageable.

2. Exercise On A Regular Schedule

Seems contrary, right? Although exercising may seem at odds with suffering from chronic pain, exercising on a regular schedule has been shown to be an effective pain management technique. It’s all about the endorphins -- they can boost your mood and help block out some of the pain signals your body is sending. Not to mention they also will help you sleep better at night and can help reduce your need for pain medication. Sounds like a win-win!

3. Cut Out The Sweets

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that consuming large amounts of processed sugar can result in chronic inflammation, which is a big cause of pain for many people. Try cutting out some unnecessary sugar or eating more natural alternatives like dried fruits. Remember: sugar goes by a lot of different names, so always check labels to monitor your sugar intake!

4. Experiment With Eastern Medicine

Acupuncture is an old method of medicine that involves inserting needles into the skin to improve physical, mental, and emotional conditions. However, it is most commonly used to treat pain relief and is most effective with regular treatments. You can find licensed acupuncturists in many urban cities, including Durham!

5. Massage Therapy

Finding relief from chronic pain doesn’t always have to involve a change in your lifestyle. Massage therapy can help relieve stress, depression, anxiety and chronic pain. Massage therapists are trained in identifying areas of stress on your body and know what techniques to use to relieve you of them. Research your area first to find the right therapist for your pain! Although massage therapy can be costly, sometimes your health insurance will cover it as a means of pain management. If not, you can always look on Groupon or Living Social for deals in your area.

6. Heat Therapy

If you’re suffering from recurring pain, you may not need an ice pack. Instead, you might just need a heating pad! Warming up the area of inflammation opens up your blood vessels, allows oxygen to flow more freely, and relaxes your muscles. If you’re suffering from long-term joint and muscle pain, this pain management strategy might be right for you.

Before you make any decisions, it’s always a good idea to talk to your physician. Only they can recommend the right pain management techniques for you and your condition. Here at the Brian Center, we offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services for individuals who suffer from a variety of pain conditions. Our pain management services in Durham are centered on relieving our patient's pain while also helping them to regain their mobility.

Interested in learning more about our pain management services? See how they can help you or a loved one today!

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