Millions of Americans take prescription painkillers to manage chronic pain. The problem is, these painkillers do more harm than good…
You build up a tolerance to them quickly and end up needing more and more just to get through the day. You may even become addicted.
These drugs also come with health-stealing side effects when you take them long term. They make you constipated, throw your hormones out of whack, make you depressed and weaken your immune system.
That’s why so many people are turning to alternative therapies to find relief. And there are a lot to choose from. Sometimes too many… making it hard to figure out what therapy works best for your pain.
But recently, researchers from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health decided to make it a little easier for you to solve your chronic pain problems without drugs…
They reviewed over fifty years of U.S.-based randomized controlled scientific trials on alternative therapies for chronic pain. Then they narrowed down which were most effective for four common types of chronic pain. Here’s what they found:
- Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain. More than 13 million Americans deal with chronic back pain. It’s also the leading cause of disability in the U.S. According to researchers, your best bet for getting rid of chronic back pain naturally are yoga and acupuncture.
Yoga is good for chronic back pain because it helps you strengthen the muscles in your back and core… and a lot of back pain can be traced back to weak muscles in these areas. It also helps you stretch and relax tense muscles. And it reduces mental stress… which is a factor in back pain and most other forms of chronic pain too.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, acupuncture restores the flow of chi (life energy) to your back, which allows the bones, muscles and nerves to heal. But there are other theories. Some say it stimulates your central nervous system and triggers the release of pain-reliving chemicals throughout your body.
Other alternative therapies that showed some scientific promise for relieving back pain were massage therapy, spinal manipulation and osteopathic manipulation.
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. More than three million Americans have it. It can affect any joint but it usually occurs in your hands, hips, spine or knees. Researchers found that the most effective treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee were tai chi and acupuncture.
Tai chi is a godsend for people with osteoarthritis because it’s a gentle, low-impact form of exercise they can do safely. Similar to yoga, tai chi also improves muscle strength, flexibility and circulation—and all three can ease joint pain.
To get started see Dr. Wiley’s Tai chi exercise for a supple waist, and low back and leg flexibility.
- Neck pain is usually caused by poor posture. But it can also be caused by osteoarthritis or injuries. When you’re neck pain is posture-related, your pain comes from strained muscles. These muscles are often strained from too many hours spent hunched over a computer. A review of available research suggests massage is the best remedy for chronic neck pain. That’s because it relieves muscle tension and promotes circulation, allowing the muscle to repair itself.
- Migraines and severe headaches affect more than three million people in the U.S. There are a lot of potential causes for chronic migraines and headaches. But research suggests, regardless of the cause, the most effective alternative therapies are relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback or guided imagery. That’s because techniques like this reduce stress and inflammation in the body — both of which are contributing factors in chronic migraines and headaches.
Whatever’s causing your pain, it’s good to know you have options that don’t come out of a prescription pill bottle. And that (despite what your doctor may lead you to believe) these therapies are backed by science. Once you know that, you are one step closer to living a pain-free life.
Editor’s Note: When conventional pain medicines and therapies just won’t work, you can now turn to the complete guide to conquering just about any type of pain naturally. Dr. Mark Wiley’s book, Conquering the Pain, is the culmination of his lifelong search to relieve his own chronic pain — and now it’s available to you. Get it today–along with 3 FREE reports!
“The Down Side and Side Effects of Painkillers.” The Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
L. Nahin, R. Boineau, et al. “Evidence-based evaluation of complementary health approaches for pain management in the United States.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2016;91(9):1292-1306.
“What Are The Most Common Types Of Chronic Pain?” ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
“Low Back Pain.” University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
“Osteoarthritis.” MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
“Neck Pain.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org. Retrieved September 1, 2016.