The Best Pain Management Plan: Combining Pain Medication and Alternative Therapies
Chronic pain affects many people at some point in their life. In fact, one in five Australians experience chronic pain on a daily basis. Chronic pain can be identified as pain that occurs on average 4 or more days of the week for at least a 3 month period. In other words, this type of pain is long-term and consistently causes severe discomfort to the individual. No one knows why people experience this type of ongoing pain, especially months after the initial event or injury occurred, for example a surgery, or sporting, car or home/work accident.NSW Health reports reveal two-thirds of people who suffer from chronic pain say their pain interferes and inhibits many daily activities.
Understandably, pain sufferers want relief from their pain, and fast. Commonly, sufferers look to pain medication, with common drugs like paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs promising to enable the person to ‘get on with daily life’, while reducing suffering and distress as a result of pain. In some cases, people have been prescribed opioid therapy for severe pain, however it is no longer recommended, as existing evidence does not support the long-term efficacy and safety of opioid therapy for chronic, non-cancer pain.
Management of chronic pain often requires a multi-modal approach, with many recommendations incorporating alternative therapies, in particular non-drug techniques. These varied approaches, recommended by the Australian health authorities, ensure that an individual is actively managing their pain and not primarily relying on prescription medication for relief. Research has shown many invasive medications provide temporary relief only and result in numerous side effects, and are ultimately nothing more than a short-term band-aid solution. In contrast, non-pharmacotherapy options have been found to assist with better pain management and even treat the root cause of the pain which results in more long-term benefits.
Sadly, due to the nature of pain medication, long-term use can lead to addiction. A 2017 study concluded that 10% of Australians who are prescribed an opioid become addicted to their prescription. This potentially equates to 2.5 million people who are now battling an addiction that began as an urgent need for pain relief. For this reason, managing and relieving chronic pain needs to be approached from various angles working together so the individual is not hyper-focused on one short-term form of treatment.
Incorporating the use of alternative therapies into your pain management plan has been found to allow the body to heal more internally and thoroughly. Although it can often be very difficult to cure chronic pain completely, many non-drug therapies make it easier to manage pain and encourage the body to begin to heal and aid itself naturally. These therapies can be a safer way to approach chronic pain as the side effects and risk of addiction and virtually reduced to none.
Combining prescription medication and alternative therapies is the national recommendation as the most effective approach to chronic pain, having shown the best results. There are various physical therapies available that you can engage in regularly to help manage your chronic pain with the most common ones being:
- Cognitive behaviour therapies, such as meditation (to help you mentally manage your pain)
- Acupuncture therapy
- Physical therapies such as physiotherapy, massage, stretching or aerobic exercises
- Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)
At Pulse Laser Relief we sell a range of alternate therapy devices that give you the capability to manage your chronic pain from the comfort of your home. These affordable devices reduce the need for endless visits/therapy sessions when you could be getting the same results by managing pain yourself - and for a fraction of the cost. LLLT and PEMF therapies work towards assisting the root cause of chronic pain, providing damaged cells in the pain area with a boost of cellular energy to restore themselves to optimal functioning. These therapies also increase circulation and decrease inflammation, two factors that have been commonly associated with the reduction of pain. Most importantly, LLLT and PEMF are non-drug therapies which allow the body to heal in natural and non-medicated ways.
For more information LLLT and PEMF alternate therapies for chronic pain management, please visit our website or read more on the respective product pages below.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Device:
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) Devices: