Not all pain is created equal. In fact, the most troubling type of pain in today’s world is chronic pain. Chronic pain is any pain that lasts more than 6 months, and 20% of Americans deal with some form of chronic pain.
Opioid and narcotic pain medications are frequently prescribed for patients in chronic pain, but this has often resulted in dependency and addiction. If you’re reading this article, you likely know someone who has been affected by opioid addiction or abuse. In fact, the CDC estimates that 3.8 million people abuse or misuse pain medications each month. How do we dig ourselves out of this hole?
Dr. Adrian Louw reports that these five unique interventions are most successful when used in combination:
- Manual Therapy – Any type of “hands-on” intervention such as joint mobilizations/manipulations, massage, acupuncture, or dry needling.
- Aerobic Exercise – Any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing rate. Examples include walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing.
- Sleep Hygiene – Creating a sleep schedule and optimal sleep environment can result in enormous improvements in pain.
- Goal Setting – Specific goals such as “Walking my daughter down the aisle at her wedding in 3 months” or “Driving to see my friend in Florida this summer” are excellent motivators.
- Therapeutic Neuroscience Education – Increasing our understanding of why we feel pain helps us control our body’s response to pain.
For those suffering from chronic pain, true recovery is a realistic goal, but it requires treating the mind, body, and spirit.
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