22 Apr 4 Ways to Battle Pain Without Western Medicine
I am sharing 4 ways to battle pain without Western Medicine.
Tis the Spring Season. The Season that begins with a desire to be outdoors, playing sports, working out, hiking, biking, walking and gardening.
I am sure I don’t have to tell you, that from time to time we sprain or strain something or bend the “wrong way” planting mulch ( me!)
I want to share with you a few ways I have battled pain without the use of prescription medication or Western medicine.
Doctors are quick to prescribe pills for whatever may ail you, and I am not professing that those pills aren’t needed at times Going through Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, there was a period in my life, where strong medications and opiates were needed to help me function and deal with the pain. Particularly when it was out of control and we didn’t have a diagnosis. I certainly can’t fault anyone for that.
I , have, however, experienced other ways to treat pain- whether it is from a chronic condition, from being active/sports, or an acute injury.
Dry needling was something I mentioned here in a post on the blog. READ THIS ARTICLE.
It has been my “Saving grace”. 13 years ago, my daily existence consisted of taking the pups down the street to the corner, letting them do their business, and walking back to the house to the comfort of the couch. The rest of the day I was watching television and researching what was wrong with me. That is, in between doctor visits and a trip to the Mayo Clinic.
Who can live like that?
My PT at the time, asked if I would be “the guinea pig” for dry needling. I knew of it, and without haste stated “Absolutely”, during my appointment.
I used to hate needles- had to turn away when my blood was taken.
Not anymore! Dry needling is a technique where filiform needle penetrates the skin and is used to locate the trigger points or muscular knots in the connective tissue. Trigger points may also develop from an injury to the muscle. The PT releases the knot with the needle and there is greater range of motion, as well as pain relief. There is soreness the next day, but you will notice a change in pain level and movement.
I have gone to dry needling for 8 years- every 2 weeks!
image credit ** Allure
Talk about a therapy that has been around for centuries ( that insurance co still wont pay for!)
Acupuncture is not the same as dry needling. Needles are used and left in the body pertaining to Meridian points. This is not the same as trigger points.
According to Release Integrative Medicine,
“Acupuncture is a treatment rooted in East Asian medicine that involves a series of thin needles inserted into the skin. The needles are thought to stimulate the body’s energy centers, restoring flow for proper healing.
Acupuncturists focus on the 12 meridian pairs that control the flow of energy, or Qi, throughout the body. Each muscle, organ and system in the body is associated with particular meridians and energy flow.”
I have used acupuncture for digestive pain as well as period pain in the past.
Photo credit **Interventionmassage.com
Recently I became acquainted with this method for treating trigger points (or muscular knots). I have been researching local PTs and was looking for a new dry needling therapist. I came across a local website that offered Neuromuscular massage, amongst many other modalities.
“The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of massage therapy as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury.”
You may wonder what is Neuromuscular massage? It is another technique that can help eliminate of lessen muscular spasms in the body. It is a technique that allows the practitioner to put pressure on trigger point areas or areas of muscular spasm. I found great relief after the hour session, and it quelled the pain I was having in my neck and shoulders. Read more about it HERE.
I will be going for this treatment once a month, and dry needling once a month as well to help with my chronic pain.
“Myofascial release (MFR, is an therapy claimed to be useful for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.” Wiki.**quote
I have experienced myofasical release throughout my EDS journey, and it has helped loosen the fascia or connective tissue from tightness that occurs due to trigger points, overuse, and other causes.
I found the technique different from massage, as it works on sustained stretching of the fascia ( tissue) without slower motions.
A bit ago I wrote about the importance of advocating for one’s health. I carry a notebook in with me to my doctor’s appts ( yes, I am old-school) and when medication is offered, I will consider it, but also ask about the alternatives. You certainly can’t control everything, but you have the say in what you wish to add to your body, or see about another option.
I still do take medications I need for my EDS, but have lowered them considerably since 2008. A mixture of Western medicine and other techniques that I have mentioned here, have helped me be more functional in life, and given me back some of myself as well.
Have any questions about these modalities? Have you ever tried any of them for pain? Let me know in the comments.
Have a great weekend!