The term ‘alternative therapy’ is defined as any effective medical treatment or substitute that is that is used in place of conventional medicine. One can get lot of options to get relief from chronic pain, provided they are integrated with your overall pain management plan. These therapies also work as complementary therapies along with the traditional medicines prescribed by the doctor. Due to Conventional and Alternative medicine (CAM), people are able to reduce their dose of medications.
Also, replacing the prescribed medication with the alternative therapies without consulting a doctor doesn’t sound good. Alternative pain treatments should be discussed with doctor and pros and cons should be talked over. It is because they don’t work for everyone the same way.
Most common alternative therapies for pain are as follows:
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting thin needles into a person’s skin at specific points on the body, at different depths. Research suggests that it can help relieve pain and that it is used for a wide range of other complaints.
Mind-Body therapies help to reduce stress which really helps in pain management. They teach how use of body impacts the emotions. They are meant to help the mind’s ability to affect the functions and symptoms of the body. These therapies include:-
Yoga, a moment therapy, gives health benefits, reduces stress, improves fitness and reduces back pain, neck pain, arthritis, etc. it improves quality of life of cancer survivors. There are certain asanas along with proper inhalation and exhalation which enhance flexibility and strength.
Chiropractic treatment : It is a non- surgical treatment for lower back pain, neck pain, headache, whiplash, etc with rare complications such as stroke, pinched nerves or worsening of herniated discs.
Dietary supplements and Vitamins can help with certain types of pain. Fish oil reduces swelling. Glucosamine is effective for knee osteoarthritis. But supplements can be very risky with various side effects. High doses of Vitamin B6 can damage the nerves. Ginkgo biloba and ginseng can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.
Also by changing dietary intake such as plant foods containing anti-inflammatory agents can help with ease pain. Weight loss along with increased physical activity has been helpful for treating osteoarthritis.
Homeopathy: It is a gentle noninvasive therapy. The practitioner assesses the problem and the lifestyle, thus recommending the medicines. This therapy takes relatively longer time to treat the problem. The remedies are generally inexpensive.
This therapy option stimulates self-healing processes of an individual and thus reduces pain. It is energy-based technique where actual physical contact is not required between practitioner and patient and energy field of body is balanced out. Healing approaches ease pain and anxiety and improve health. It targets specific points of body such as throat or abdomen. It is beneficial therapy and has no significant adverse side- effects.
Some herbs are taken by the patient to get relief from pain. But information should be shared with the doctor regularly because some herbs may interact with drugs and may harm your health.
Alternative therapies are not always benign. As mentioned, some herbal therapies can interact with other medications you may be taking. Always talk to your doctor before trying an alternative approach and be sure to tell all your doctors what alternative treatments you are using.