Experiencing occasional aches and pains is a fact of life. But what happens when we start to experience pain on a daily basis?
According to a review published in the British Medical Journal, nearly half of the UK adult population is living with chronic pain, with up to 28 million people experiencing pain that lasts for more than three months.
The most common causes of chronic pain include headache, lower back pain, arthritic pain and pain from disease. There is also unexplained pain, where the GP or medical expert has been unable to get to the root of what is causing it. And while it may not be life-threatening, chronic pain can have a major impact on mental wellbeing and quality of life. It can be truly debilitating, turning small every-day tasks into painful challenges.
We know that painkillers are the first line medical response to managing pain. But what happens if you don’t want to take a drug every day? What else can you do to manage and even alleviate pain more naturally? Here are five options that may help you to manage pain safely and effectively.
HANDS ON BODYWORK
Hands on bodywork helps to release stored tension in the body, while simultaneously having a soothing, therapeutic effect on the mind.
Try Bowen therapy – a light touch treatment that uses a ‘rolling’ of the hands over muscles, tendons and connective tissue. It is particularly known to alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain, whilst simultaneously calming the nervous system and alleviating stress. After trying every other treatment available for a bad back or chronic pain, many people turn to Bowen and experience a ‘eureka’ moment, enabling them to live without constant pain for the first time in years.
Gentle therapeutic massage offers another way to alleviate stored tension, freeing up knotted fascia around joints and muscles and relaxing both body and mind.
This increasingly popular therapy is the exposure of light at a specific wavelength using Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and has been clinically proven to offer extensive health benefits including tissue repair, reduced pain and inflammation. By the simple exposure of an energy source of light to the cells, they are encouraged to regenerate and start the self-healing process.
This safe and effective therapy can tackle a whole host of today’s health and wellbeing problems and is used successfully to manage different pains. Soft tissue injuries (muscular, tendon & ligament damage), Joint pain (arthritis) Musculoskeletal conditions (Carpal Tunnel, RSI, TMJ, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder) and Neuropathic pain can all be improved using light therapy.
HAVE A HEALTHY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EATING PLAN
What you eat can have a profound impact on your pain levels. So, eating anti-inflammatory food is a great place to start. A paleo-based diet is a good option to consider. Focus on organic, fresh, and unprocessed foods and remove field-grass grains (including those containing gluten and gliadin), dairy, and legumes, which can lead to less inflammation and less pain perception.
Why should a program for chronic pain seek to address toxins? Because of certain metabolic dysfunctions, people with chronic pain produce more internal toxins while their mechanisms of elimination are often depressed. Once these toxins find their way into the body, they become trapped in the organs and tissues, where—among many other kinds of symptoms—they can cause fatigue and aches. They also interfere with energy production at cellular level. Reducing or eliminating caffeine, alcohol and processed foods can positively impact your pain levels, while abstaining from solid foods for 3-5 days or undertaking a juice cleanse, gives your gut a rest and rids your body of harmful toxins that can add to your pain.
GENTLE EXERCISE / MOVEMENT
Listen to what your body needs. Switch high intensity exercise for low-to-moderate intensity work outs and simple stretches, alternating with rest and relaxation on days when you are feeling fatigued.
Yoga and Pilates are good options as they focus on mobility and stretching, using gentle movements. It is probably best not to engage in activities that overly tax your metabolic system or require a lot of physical exertion.
Meditation is a powerful tool to help you reconnect with optimism, positive thoughts and all the ways in which your body is working well. In fact, research has shown that guided meditation can help reduce depression, pain, stress and anxiety and deepen sleep, increase relaxation and enhance healing and quality of life.
You can harness the power of meditation anytime, anywhere, even in the midst of acute stress. It’s simply a strategy to help you tune into the part of your mind that holds inner calm and joy.
You don’t have to accept pain and/or painkillers as a way of life. Natural solutions for managing pain are available and can sometimes fix the problem completely. So instead of popping another pill, take a look at the options available and take control of your health and pain management back.
At Seed we have numerous therapists who can help with pain management. If you would like to find out more about anything covered in this blog then we’d love to help you. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our individual therapists:
Light Therapy: email@example.com
Bowen Therapy: Barbara@seedwellness.co.uk
Remedial Massage: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nutritional Therapy: email@example.com
Detox / Cleansing: firstname.lastname@example.org