Managing Chronic Pain Without Using DrugsQUESTION: Is managing chronic pain without using drugs possible?ANSWER:
Managing chronic pain without the use of drugs is possible. When I refer to drugs,
I am primarily thinking of prescribed painkillers versus acetaminophen, aspirin-containing drugs or ibuprofen. One thing to remember, however, is that each person is unique. Conditions that cause pain, perception of pain, and reactions to drugs are not uniform for those experiencing chronic pain.
The modalities I use to manage chronic pain have not included the use of drugs as defined in the paragraph above. In managing chronic pain the drug-free way, I have found three components to be interrelated and crucial: nutrition, myofascial release therapy, and restful sleep.
For me, managing my nutrition is an ongoing challenge. I consult a nutritionist who is familiar with my complete health picture, and works with me on balancing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. I supplement my nutrition program with B vitamins, which are key to pain control. Moderate exercise is also a piece of the nutrition puzzle that aids not only in gradual permanent weight loss, but in a better overall health picture for anyone.
A major key to managing chronic pain without the use of drugs is myofascial release therapy. Dealing with underlying issues related to pain, both physical and emotional aspects should be addressed. In dealing with these issues, I have discovered a very helpful form of bodywork called myofascial release. Myofascial release involves addressing the pain rather than merely enduring it. When a person experiences an injury, or stress-related bracing patterns in the fascia (the total body webbing underneath the skin), hard, painful or tender areas called restrictions
trap pain that may be relieved through myofascial release. Not only do I do self-treatment daily, but also I receive treatment twice a week from a wonderful therapist who acknowledges God's ultimate oversight of the healing process.
Restful sleep is extremely important in managing chronic pain. Some people find it hard to get restful sleep without the use of sleep-inducing drugs or painkillers. I have found that listening to relaxation CDs or soothing music, the use of a nutritional supplement called 5-hydroxytryptophan that has a sleep-inducing effect and consistent myofascial release therapy has brought about, over time, a more restful sleep for me. Your doctor might also be able to give you specialized pillows, pads, and stretching devices to aid you in falling asleep less painfully.
I am grateful to God for bringing the people and modalities into my life that are bringing about my improved health.