The difficulties of daily life can be aggravated by chronic pain. While painkillers may help lessen or relieve pain, they all have benefits and drawbacks. Opioids, a class of prescription painkillers, can be very effective but also carry the danger of addiction and overdose. Fortunately, there are a number of non-pharmacological approaches to pain management. Continue reading to discover the six drug-free methods for pain relief.

1) Relax with acupuncture

When looking for all-natural pain relief, this medication is a natural first choice. The evidence supporting the use of acupuncture for arthritis, headaches, and low back pain is now very compelling. According to Dr. Robert Bonakdar, MD, the director of pain management at a facility for integrative medicine, the advantages of acupuncture increase with continued treatment. According to him, acupuncture rewires the brain by stimulating the parts of the brain that manage memory and reaction to pain.

2) Keep moving by exercising

One of the most effective treatments for chronic pain is exercise. Patients who maintain an active lifestyle have higher levels of endorphins, dopamine, and tissue oxygen, all of which can lessen pain while enhancing mood and sleep. Dr. Bonakdar cites a Cochrane review from 2017 that concluded that aerobic exercise likely enhances the quality of life and may lessen pain intensity in fibromyalgia patients. However, given that some claim that exercise makes soreness worse, it’s critical to consult a doctor or physical therapist who can help you start a program and ramp it up properly to avoid this issue.

3) Consider Vitamin D

Sleep and the management of chronic pain are both affected by vitamin D. Brazilian researchers found vitamin D supplementation is linked to excellent sleep hygiene and may have a therapeutic effect, not only in sleep problems but also in the prevention and treatment of chronic pain diseases, in a 2017 review published in the Journal of Endocrinology.


One reason why sleep deprivation can increase sensitivity to pain is that it can have downstream inflammatory effects. Both poor sleep and pain problems (like fibromyalgia) have been associated with vitamin D deficiency. What dosage of vitamin D is ideal for you? Prior to choosing to use a supplement, consult your doctor.

4) Stretch yourself

Add yoga now that you’re moving more. A 2015 study published in the journal Pain reveals that yoga can reverse the effects of chronic pain, which can alter your brain and cause you to lose grey matter, which affects your emotions and cognition, two aspects that affect how you process pain. Researchers discovered that adopting a lifestyle that reduces pain perception and has the opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain does, such as practicing yoga and meditation. Additionally, the researchers showed that physical activity and a socially stimulating setting reduced pain behavior and restored normal brain function in rodent models.

5) Consider cognitive behavioural therapy for treatment

The mind-body method used in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) enables you to recognize and alter painfully provoking self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You might learn how to unwind, spot detrimental thought patterns, alter them, and recognize the actions that aggravate or soothe pain. It’s a method for solving problems, to put it simply. CBT “can help reduce pain levels while also modulating brain activity similar to acupuncture,” according to Dr. Bonakdar. CBT also works in conjunction with other psychotherapy treatments like biofeedback and mindfulness.

6) Use more turmeric

There are various ways, including improving cognitive function, that turmeric can improve your health. Chronic pain should be added to that list as well. Curcumin, the yellow hue-giving component of turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory molecule that “has historical and now solid clinical evidence for reducing inflammation and pain,” according to Dr. Bonakdar. Though further study is required, the researchers note, one meta-analysis from 2016 that was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that turmeric extract was successful in treating arthritis. Even so, it’s worthwhile to include the spice in your meals (add raw root to a smoothie or water as rice cooks). If supplements are right for you, ask your doctor.


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