Living with chronic pain is no fun, yet 50 million Americans are doing just that! Are you one of them? Do you crave an active, adrenaline-filled life? There is no need to give up yet – if conventional treatment options have failed to provide you relief, a pain clinic will definitely offer you help. These specialized healthcare facilities focus on the diagnosis and management of chronic pain. Scattered all over the country from Tallahassee to Tampa, these pain clinics take a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to pain management. The programs are intended to show patients the ways they can play an active role in managing their pain. As opposed to conventional treatments that focus only on pain, these holistic programs focus on the person as a whole. Regardless of the type of chronic pain you are suffering from – arthritis, lower back pain, neck pain or fibromyalgia, these alternative therapies can offer you relief without having you to pop the pills.
The pain management programs available in these clinics typically consider an array of physical and psychological aspects, and accordingly involve physicians specializing in different areas of the diagnosis and management of chronic pain. A tailor-made pain management plan may include one or more of the following therapies:
Are you living with chronic pain due to any of these – osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, neck pain, backpain, tension headache or surgery related issues? Well, a message therapy can provide you a lot more than temporary relief. Massage therapy boosts the levels of endorphin and serotonin – the body’s natural painkillers and mood regulators. This sets your body’s natural pain management mechanism in motion.
The healing touch of massage, which involves applying measured pressure, tension, motion, or vibration on the affected parts of your body, have a far deeper reach in your system than you can imagine. It goes straight to the molecular level, literally. According to Science Translation Medicine, an interdisciplinary medical journal, massage therapy can help turn on and off genes causing inflammation, subsequently helping to lower the sensation of pain.
Of course, massage therapy does not stop there – it also helps suppress anxiety in the patients who are suffering from debilitating conditions or recuperating from a traumatic accident. This explains why massage therapy has become a big part of post-op patient care across the US.
Lack of consensus on the effectiveness of acupuncture could not deter millions of people from trying this therapy to get rid of chronic pain. This ancient Chinese practice involves insertion of needles in specific points (acupuncture points) of the body. Several studies have shown that this needle-induced mechanism can help activate adenosine, an amino acid that helps ease injury-related pain.
Just like other holistic therapies, acupuncture acts at the root level. It helps improve the functioning of the nervous and musculoskeletal system, which are often the cause of the pain. Acupuncture may be an answer if you are suffering from chronic back pains, migraines and tension headaches. It also works well for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and sciatica.
Some painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and muscular lower back pain are the result of inflammation. There are several herbs with medicinal properties that help reduce inflammation. Many practitioners reported that their patients have experienced relief from chronic pain with regular consumption of Omega-3 fish oil. Turmeric, too, has extraordinary anti-inflammatory qualities. Anyone seeking relief from debilitating pain can try a combination of fish oil, turmeric and vitamin D on a daily basis. Taking turmeric in combination with ginger also helps, according to the proponents of herbal medicine. If you are planning to take herbs and supplements, consult a licensed naturopath first.
There is a very close relation between stress and pain. Being in pain causes stress and stress worsens pain. By promoting relaxation, meditation helps break this vicious cycle. In this therapy, a variety of awareness techniques is used to soothe the nerves and ease the physical discomforts. Transcendental and Mindfulness are the two most popular forms of meditation.
The first one requires you to repeat a single or multiple-word (mantra). A strong focus on this activity lets other thoughts and feelings to subside gradually.
Mindfulness meditation helps lower the stress level. This form of meditation teaches patients how to focus their attention on thoughts and sensations.
Besides relieving lower back, chest and gastrointestinal pain and headache, Mindfulness meditation helps improve mood in patients. And the best part? You need to attend just a short and simple training session to experience a long-term effect.
For many, the term, ‘hypnosis’ is closely tied to childhood memories of feasting on the adventures of Mandrake the Magician, the classic comic strip hero who famously used his powers of hypnotism and illusion to bring criminals to book. However, there is nothing funny about the clinical hypnosis, which aims at taking the patient to an altered state of awareness. It strives to induce a state of consciousness where your mind is aware, yet you feel deeply relaxed. Research has shown medical hypnosis to be highly effective for acute and chronic pain related to burns and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used to ease cancer pain and reduce anxiety associated with surgery. Only licensed therapists are allowed to practice it to treat psychological or physical problems.
A wide range of holistic treatment options is available for pain relief. However, not all clinics offer the same services. It does not really matter which part of the US you live. In fact, even if you are vacationing in the Sunshine State, you can find a pain clinic in Florida– that can offer different types of holistic treatment options. Before signing up for a particular program, find out what types of therapies are offered. Go through the credentials of the physicians, and read online reviews to find out what previous patients have to say about the services. A little homework prior to enrolling into a plan can go a long way to determine whether the pain clinic is right for you or not.