Unexpected Ways to Alleviate Chronic Pain

Whether you've lived with chronic pain all your life or have recently been diagnosed with a health issue such as fibromyalgia, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, or arthritis, you've likely come across hundreds of different articles and unsolicited, albeit well-meaning, opinions on how to alleviate your chronic pain. 

Of course, asking your doctor is always a great step in the right direction—they can prescribe options like medications or physical therapy to help manage your symptoms. But, if you'd rather some alternative methods or just aren't getting the pain relief you so desperately need, there are some unconventional methods that might help. When it comes to helping with chronic pain, it is good to see about CBD concentrates and see how well it helps with your pain.

Add essential oils to your pain relief plan.

Love them or hate them, chances are you've come across essential oils in your struggle with chronic pain. Both skeptics and devotees abound but studies show that, when combined with conventional treatments, oils like lavender, rosemary, and peppermint really can make a difference in pain levels. Set up a diffuser with your favorites, try an aromatherapy pillow or stuffed animal, or look for massage oils with your scent of choice.

Ease into savasana.

"Have you tried yoga?" might just be the one refrain that patients dealing with pain hear more frequently than "My friend/sister/cousin sells these essential oils...." But experts agree that yoga can help to alleviate pain caused by arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, or other conditions and increase mobility in affected patients. Try attending a yoga class once or twice a week, or beginning your own practice at home with some of the many apps and YouTube channels devoted to yoga. May even have videos or restorative practices specifically targeted to chronic or acute pain relief.

Try CBD.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an extract of the cannabis plant, that does not produce the same "high" as other cannabis products, particularly those containing THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol). Much of the research behind the benefits of CBD is still in its early stages, but patients have seen success in treating not only longterm pain but mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD as well. CBD products come in many forms, so be sure to do your research: if you use tobacco cigarettes or vape pens, consider looking into the best CBD cigarettes or CBD vape juice for pain relief. If smoking or vaping isn't your style, or you have a respiratory condition that could be worsened by using these products, try opting for a CBD oil, salve, or other topical CBD product for the same benefits.

Find a (healthy) distraction.

The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests talking to a mental health professional, managing your stress, and thinking positively as a few healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with chronic pain. But something as simple as picking up a Sudoku puzzle or playing a game on your smartphone can be enough to distract your mind from the pain you're experiencing. Watch your favorite comedy, chat with a friend, or write in a journal to focus on something besides your pain.

Take a breath.

Yes, literal breathing is probably beneficial to not just relieving pain, but living in the first place. But controlled breathing through meditation can actually rewire your brain to reduce pain intensity and decrease stress which, left untreated, can intensify symptoms of chronic pain. Download a free meditation app or search the web for guided audio or videos to get you started—the better you get, the less you'll need to rely on these tools, and the more easily you'll be able to take advantage of the benefits of meditation.
Whether you turn to CBD, yoga, or simply distracting yourself from the pain, one or more of these unexpected ways to alleviate chronic pain just make all the difference in your day-to-day life. Will your symptoms disappear entirely? Probably not. But, as you're probably all too aware of already, every little bit of pain relief counts when you're dealing with longterm pain—if a dropper full of CBD oil helps relieve your pain for a while, then the quality of your day, if not your quality of life in general, is bound to improve. 

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