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|Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Manage Pain|
Often, it is beneficial to make long-term lifestyle changes in order to help manage chronic pain. By developing healthy habits at home and at work, many people are able to manage all types of chronic pain, without the use of medications.
Some healthy lifestyle practices include:
Developing positive lifestyle habits helps strengthen your immune system, reduce the body’s production of cortisol (the stress hormone), improve cellular repair and enhance your overall well-being, which, in turn, helps relieve chronic pain.
More than 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. ¹
However, pain management can be a tricky topic, because there are many factors that play a role in the persistence of pain. In fact, many experts agree that pain is more than just a physical ailment. For instance, Steven Stanos, D.O., medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Center for Pain Management, says that it is beneficial to take a “bio-psycho-social approach” to treating chronic pain.²
Dr. Stanos points to the importance of treating the biological, or physical, root cause of pain (which might initially include the use of certain medications) as well as the psychological and social aspects of chronic pain. Psychological components of chronic pain include depression, fear and anxiety while social aspects of chronic pain include a patient’s ability to work, maintain friendships and simply function overall.
With this holistic approach to pain management in mind, let’s discuss some of the drug-free approaches to managing chronic pain. (Note: Pain management typically requires a trial-and-error treatment approach, and often involves a combination of multiple therapies or treatments.)
Alternative Pain Management Therapies
These are only a short list of pain management techniques that can be used in combination with or instead of medication use. If you would like to find out more about alternative pain management therapies, contact your acupuncturist today.