Exploring Alternative Avenues for Effective Pain Management

Millions of Americans experience pain from headaches, back problems and other health conditions. And while many are prescribed powerful pain medications, concerns over addiction have doctors and patients seeking other ways to manage their symptoms.

For example, a team of researchers has found that they can reverse opioid tolerance in mice by targeting pathways in the brain that control pain sensations. These findings could lead to new ways to treat chronic pain without relying on addictive drugs.

But while these research findings are encouraging, there is still a lot of work to be done. Opiate use and misuse are widespread. In fact, over 40 million adults in the United States report having chronic pain, and some of these individuals are using opioids to self-medicate. This is why it is so important to find other avenues for effective pain management, such as non-drug treatments.

One such option is mindfulness, which involves focusing on the present moment and accepting pain to achieve relief. This is a simple strategy, but it can have profound effects for some people. Similarly, yoga, meditation and deep breathing can also help reduce the physical and emotional impact of pain.

Other treatments include physical therapy and non-invasive devices that stimulate the body’s natural painkillers. For instance, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation sends low-voltage electrical signals through pads placed on the skin to interrupt painful messages from the brain and trigger the production of “feel good” endorphins. Some patients find relief from acupuncture, where thin needles are inserted in different locations to break down muscle knots and block pain signals.

There are also a number of high-tech options, such as shockwave therapy and dry needling, that can target specific areas of pain by delivering sound waves or targeted needles to the area. In addition, spinal cord stimulators can provide long-term pain relief by sending mild electric pulses to the nerves in the spine.

Despite the growing popularity of alternative pain management, there are barriers to reaching and engaging patients. In addition to a digital divide that means only those with access to web-based peer-to-peer health communities can participate, some patients are reluctant to talk about their experiences for fear of stigma and discrimination. Further, those with limited financial resources can’t afford to pay for a variety of therapies and medications. To address these issues, a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates patients’ perspectives and priorities is needed. For more details on pain management visit https://www.atlantachiropractor.net/.

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