Self-Care Options for Relieving Chronic Pain
by Dr. Sherry McAllister, President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. If you’re one of them, you might think your only treatment options are prescription medications or orthopedic surgery, but that’s far from the case.
A growing number of Americans are turning to all-natural, drug-free approaches to pain management. One of the options increasing in popularity is chiropractic care.
A recent study found that more than 22 million Americans visit a doctor of chiropractic each year to address neuro-musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports- and work-related injuries, and arthritis. What’s more, three out of four people who visit a doctor of chiropractic report treatment as “very effective.”
Chiropractic care has shown to be one of the topmost effective drug-free approaches, but there are other complementary options that can support your recovery as well. Let’s take a closer look at three self-care treatments worth considering:
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of small needles throughout your body’s meridians. It’s thought that acupuncture improves the flow of qi, or life force. Studies show that treatment is quite successful. In fact, 66% of people who undergo acupuncture experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms. Additionally, acupuncture treatments can lower blood pressure and improve sleep.
- Yoga. Yoga is another self-care option that’s been practiced for thousands of years. It was invented in India and uses stretching and range-of-motion exercises to increase muscle strength, flexibility, cardiac health and energy. One study found that 79% of people who practice yoga at least six times a week say their pain-causing condition greatly improved.
- Massage. Many people consider massage a form of self-pampering, but it provides medical benefits, too. Light manual manipulation of your skin and soft tissues can improve circulation, ease inflammation and spur your body’s natural healing process. Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are particularly effective.
If you or a loved one regularly experiences chronic pain, consider combining chiropractic care with one (or several) of these self-care treatment modalities. Doing so can significantly improve your quality of life!