Chronic pain affects more than 50 million Americans, making it one of the most common health issues in the country, and a leading cause of disability.
Furthermore, chronic pain can lead to other health issues, including depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because, when someone suffers from chronic pain, their body bombards the brain with stress signals, which not only makes the pain physically worse but also intensifies their perceived level of stress.
Initially, most chronic pain treatments will likely be medication based. However, there are many highly effective natural treatments for chronic pain that can work as standalone treatments, or in support of pharmacological interventions. The following chronic pain management options are holistic in nature, and proven to reduce inflammation and pain in the body:
This non-surgical treatment has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and works on the body’s meridian points—specific parts of the body that, when triggered, release endorphins. In acupuncture, small needles are inserted into appropriate meridian points based on the patients’ symptoms. The endorphins help alleviate pain, decrease inflammation, increase range of motion and improve immune system health. There is little to no pain upon insertion of the needles.
Massage is a highly effective, all natural, and very enjoyable chronic pain management solution. Massage improves circulation, which helps the body naturally flush any waste that has built up in the muscles. This waste can create painful “trigger points” that exacerbate chronic pain symptoms. Massage therapy also reduces stress and pain, and can accelerate post-injury recovery times.
Reiki is a touch-based therapy that is effective for alleviating stress and promoting relaxation. In Reiki, a practitioner holds his or her hands above the patient, transferring a healing energy that will help them to relax and recover. Though Reiki has many skeptics, it is a proven method of holistic pain management—it is offered in 60 major hospitals around the country, and Reiki education is available in about 800 hospitals.
Some supplements have noticeable pain relieving properties, most notably Turmeric and Ginger. Turmeric is rich in a compound called Curcuma, which, when used for four or more weeks, is proven to reduce pain. Ginger, when taken in doses of 2g, is also proven to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. In one study, endurance athletes taking a Ginger supplement experienced less pain than those not taking the supplement.
There are many natural treatments for chronic pain—these are just a few examples of some that we’ve found to be effective for our patients, in combination with ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine infusions have emerged as one of the leading treatments for chronic pain conditions, effectively alleviating pain for several months at a time…and for up to 11-months in some cases! Natural solutions like the ones listed above are a great way to maintain positive results in between maintenance infusions, and can even extend the amount of time between them.
Ask your primary care physician or pain specialist if ketamine infusions might be the solution you’ve been looking for, and before adding any of these natural pain treatments to your self-care regimen, make sure you talk to your doctor first. If you have questions about ketamine for chronic pain or how to get started, contact our Colorado ketamine clinics for more information.