In the last blog, we discussed some natural pain relief methods. Why? Because most common methods for dealing with chronic pain are associated with risks like drug tolerance, side effects and addiction. Getting out more knowledge about alternative methods will cut down on the possible dangerous side effects from regular use of over the counter pain medication. Not to mention, reduce potential addiction to prescription pain medication. Chronic pain is no joke, so I want to help you get some relief from pain safely and naturally!
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the cannabinoid compounds found in plants, most commonly associated with the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) it does not have a psychoactive “high” associated with it. CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help regulate things like sleep, pain and inflammation. Cannabinoid receptors exist throughout the body and have been demonstrated in the central nervous system, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. Relief from chronic pain is by far the most common condition cited by patients for the medical use of cannabis. (Source) “Cannabinoid analgesics (drugs acting to relieve pain) have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials with acceptable adverse event profiles. Their adjunctive addition to the pharmacological armamentarium (collection of resources) for treatment of pain shows great promise.” (Source) CBD is usually used by extracting the compound from a plant, then adding it to a carrier oil — creating CBD oil. My favorite CBD oil is by Kannaway. You can learn more about it by clicking here. My favorite of their products are the chocolate chews, the AM revive, and the PM restore. I recently ran out of my Kannaway chocolate chews and I could definitely tell that they had been working to lower pain and inflammation in my body. I’ll be sure to never run out again. In fact, I typically run out because I share my private stash with my clients and they all love the effects!
Dry needling (even though it sounds painful) is an effective pain relief method usually performed by physical therapists. They use extremely thin needles to stimulate trigger points, which are hard, band-like knots within a muscle that cause widespread pain — sometimes called myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial trigger points can be caused by injury, muscle overload or repetitive microtrauma. Tension headaches can also be caused by these tight trigger points. By stimulating these trigger points, they can release the tightness in the muscle to alleviate pain. It can also help increase functionality and range of motion, which are affected by myofascial trigger points too. Some studies have show that dry needling may balance out chemicals in the affected muscles. (Source) While it sounds similar to acupuncture, it’s quite different in practice because acupuncture is meant to correct the imbalances in the energy flow through the body. Whereas dry needling releases tension in trigger points. Which brings us to…
I LOVE having acupuncture and I have been receiving treatments for years! Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese Medicine practice that involves using hair-thin needles to stimulate acupoints in the body to correct imbalances in the energy flow (qi). When done by an experienced professional, it should be virtually painless. Acupuncture relieves pain by working with the chemicals in the brain. For example, it releases endorphins and affects the area of the brain that controls serotonin. There is promising research that shows acupuncture can help alleviate pain caused by menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and more. It’s also been shown to reduces the frequency of tension and migraine headaches. (1, 2) As far as side effects and risks go, acupuncture is considered to be a safe pain relief alternative. The FDA even regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices now. Just be sure to use an experienced and qualified professional! Check your practitioner’s license and certification to verify their credentials.
Pulsed magnetic field therapy (PMFT) is a non-invasive, simple technique used extensively for the treatment of muscle pain. It works by externally generating a magnetic field that expands and contracts cells. This helps improve circulation of blood, nutrients and oxygen, and helps cells recharge and detoxify. One study even showed its significant effectiveness in managing pain, stiffness and physical function in osteoarthritis patients (source) and spinal cord injury patients (source). Not to mention that they have virtually no adverse effects! (Source) I like to use my PEMF device each night as I sleep to help me sleep better and recover more quickly. You can purchase the one I use here. Let me know if you are going to or have tried one of these methods! I would love to hear about it.