Consider healthier alternatives to opioids and other pain medications
Pain can have you reaching for over-the-counter or prescription drugs for fast relief. However, taking multiple medications or taking them too much or too often can lead to problems such as organ damage, bad drug interactions, and addiction.
Comfort without pills
There are simple and natural ways to ease your pain. Ask your doctor about using these techniques alone or in combination with medications:
Relax— Deep breathing and meditation can slow your heart rate and help you relax. Listening to music or thinking of things that comfort you can help boost your spirits and lower your stress reaction to pain.
Move— Being active releases “feel good” chemicals in your brain that can lessen pain and boost your sense of well-being. If your doctor approves, try moderate physical activity to prevent your muscles from becoming weak and causing more pain.
Quit— Smoking makes pain worse. Tobacco chemicals make it hard for oxygen and nutrients to reach different parts of the body. This slows down healing and weakens tissues, resulting in painful conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.
Soothe— Hot and cold therapies can help when you’re stressed or injured. A cool cloth on your skin can keep swelling and inflammation down. A heating pad can relieve back aches, and a hot shower can ease tension headaches.
Laugh— When you laugh, your body produces its own natural painkillers, and you feel more relaxed and less sensitive to aches and pain.Talk to your doctor to understand the risks and benefits of your
Connect— When you feel lonely and disconnected, the emotional options for managing pain can build up into a physical pain. Social support and emotional connections help you cope with chronic pain.