Noninvasive Therapeutic Healing Alternatives for Managing Pain
If you are among the millions of Americans who endure chronic, or daily pain, you may be looking for natural effective alternatives to battle your pain. Chronic pain is frustrating and often requires a combination of several methods and techniques to experience relief. Depending on how severe your chronic pain is and its underlying causes, there may be some natural solutions. In creating your pain management toolkit it is important to adopt a holistic perspective. There are plenty of people that rely on pharmaceutical painkillers, and choose surgical or invasive measures to control pain, but in many cases natural non invasive options can become a whole new world of potential remedies. Complimentary or alternative pain treatments that doctors once scoffed at are now becoming a standard at many pain centers.
Cold Lasers are noninvasive and painless, and there is no sound, vibration, or even heat. They are made up of different wavelengths and outputs of low level colored light which are applied directly to a specific area. The targeted area of body tissue absorbs the red and near inferred light which in turn regenerates the damaged cells. As the cold laser therapy restores cellular energy it provides great relief from pain and inflammation. It is most commonly used for ligament sprains, muscle strain, tendonitis, bursitis, tennis elbow, neck pain, low back pain, knee pain, and pain associated with muscle spasms. It also promotes skin rejuvenation, so can be extremely helpful for difficult to heal wounds and can treat various skin problems from acne to dermatitis, and even rashes.
Physical/Neuromuscular/ Occupational Therapy
Generally, therapy is rehabilitation focusing on regaining physical and or cognitive function to resume a maximum level of independent living. They aid in improving and preventing the worsening of your condition, or quality of life. They also provide education on how to maintain your health and overall well being. Therapies are instrumental in managing debilitating chronic neurological, musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. Therapy aids in pain management by utilizing a number of techniques, including; manual Nero rehabilitation, manual massage, targeted exercises, stretching/yoga, hands on manipulations, cranial sacral therapies, hot and cold applications, ultrasounds, diathermy and a number of TENS or biofeedback instruments for electrical stimulation.
Chiropractic adjustments can be an effective way to align your spine and bring back balance to your body. The spine houses the main highway of your nervous system and when the body encounters misalignments this puts a load on other parts of your body which can cause possible strain and or injury. It also, can pinch the nerves in the spine and affect their signaling ability. Through noninvasive chiropractic regular weekly visits your spine can be aligned correctly, and thus decrease pain and inflammation throughout the body, and help to maintain an optimal functioning in the nervous system.
Automated Muscular Therapy (AMT)
AMT is non invasive robotic treatment that uses gentle and static pressure to perform muscular skeletal corrections in the body. This cutting edge therapy targets aggravated or tight muscles with graded pressure techniques to lengthen muscles, triggering a systemic healing response. This type of treatment is non invasive, and naturally detoxifies the body from lactic acid build ups that keep the muscles locked up and tightened. The AMT therapist conducts an assessment to determine troubled areas, and then focuses the robotic treatment at the source of the issues, not the symptoms. AMT can help to naturally eliminate pain and inflammation at the root and help you enjoy a pain free lifestyle again. On the average AMT with minimal treatments can help with migraines, neck pain, shoulder pain, nerve impingements, back pain, knee pain, sciatica, TMJ, Capel tunnel, sports performance issues, golf swing, poor posture, and much more.
Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
This type of therapy works by a motorized traction device that can change the force and position of the spine. The changes of force can take pressure off the spinal disks, and as a result bulging, and herniated disks may retract, taking pressure off nerves and other structures in the spine. This relief of pressure promotes movement of water, oxygen and nutrient rich fluids to flow throughout spinal column and bring healing and decreasing inflammation. During the decompression, you are fitted with a pelvic harness, and you lie on a table where a doctor operates a computer program to direct the compression. Treatments may extend for months
This type of treatment is appropriate for back, neck pain, sciatica, pain, weakness, or tingling that extends down the leg.
This method of pain management can be used to treat chronic and acute conditions. It is a safe noninvasive, drug free approach to relieving pain by blocking the body’s pain messages to the brain. When we have an injury or inflammation, pain receptors in our body are activated and send a signal to the central nervous system(brain and spinal cord). Then that message is registered as pain by certain cells in the body. Electrodes are placed on the skin at specific areas then hooked up to a computer program the sends out high frequency alternating electrical currents to block the pain signals. The effectiveness depends on each persons condition and the bodys response to the treatment. Multiple sessions may be necessary for temporary pain relief, but is best used in combination with other pain relieving treatment protocols. Some treatable diagnoses include complex regional pain syndrome; back pain, muscle pain migraines, scleroderma, RA, TMJ, and diabetic neuropathy,
This traditional Chinese medicine technique is most commonly used to treat pain, overall immunity, and stress. This practice includes the insertion of very thin needles through the skin at strategic points to bring balance to meridian pathways in the body. It is also used to stimulate nerves, muscles, and to relax constricted connective tissues. It improves the bodies functions overall and stimulates the self healing processes by the addition of pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation to the needles. The needles are thought to decrease pain signals by increasing the release of chemicals that block the pain messages coming from the brain or spinal cord, called endorphins. The release of endorphins has an anti inflammatory effect in the body. Acupuncture also incorporates TCM techniques of manual massage, heat therapy, cupping, and topical application of herbal medicine and ligaments. It has been shown to successfully treat back pain, net pain, nausea, migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility and much more.
Therapeutic Touch/ Massage
Massage incorporates the therapeutic manipulation of rubbing, pressing soft issues(muscles, ligaments, and tendons,)using the fingers, hands, forearms elbows, knees, feet etc. Massage has over 80 variations in the industry. Massage has numerous benefits from promoting relaxation, reducing anxiety and depression, easing muscle tension and stiff joints, improving sleep quality, and strengthening the Lower back. It also enhances blood flow and circulation by directing oxygen and nutrient rich blood to and from our muscles and internal organs. This improved blood flow leads to growth, recovery,, and healing throughout the body.
For those looking to explore a holistic pain management toolkit , there are many options to consider. High impact chronic pain can benefit from cold laser, Functional therapies, chiropractic, Automated Muscular Therapy, Spinal Decompression, Bioelectric therapy, Massage, and Acupuncture, just to name a few. There is no one size fits all, so whatever therapy you choose to manage your pain just remember this the less non invasive it is, the fewer risks it comes with.
Written by Elizabeth Sutter Occupational Therapist Registered OTR/L, CHC
Elizabeth Sutter is not a doctor. Consult your doctor regarding any medical decisions.