Try complementary therapies for pain management

October 9, 2015

If you're in pain, you no doubt have goals of reducing, managing, and eliminating it. A multi-faceted problem requires a multi-faceted response. Here are some of the medical professionals that can help.

Try complementary therapies for pain management


Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It can be useful for some kinds of pain relief in conjunction with standard medical care. The therapy involves the placement of tiny needles at specific points in the body to release blocked energy, which may not be an easy concept for some Western practitioners to understand. Some physicians are also trained in acupuncture, but if yours isn't, there are many nonphysician practitioners.

Biofeeback therapists

Biofeedback therapists are trained in biofeedback and physiology. They are often nurses or physical therapists who work with a doctor. Biofeedback is a noninvasive treatment that can be helpful in treating muscle and stress-related pain. Electrodes that measure temperature, muscle tension, and brain-wave functions are attached to the body. Patients are taught how to make changes that help control those functions. Treatment usually involves a series of sessions over several weeks, but patients can do it themselves once they learn the techniques.

Massage therapists

Massage is the manipulation of soft body tissues such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue to relieve pain and stress. In most areas, massage therapy requires accreditation through a license, registration, or certification.

Physical therapists

Physical therapists are trained to help you recover strength, flexibility, and motion and to help you move without pain. They work by using stretching and strengthening exercises, ice, heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. Physical therapists are required to be licensed where they practice. If there is a physical therapy association in your area, they can help you locate practitioners in your community.

Your general practitioner may not always be the optimal person to treat all of your pain-related issues. However, your GP can likely work with you to determine what other courses of treatment are best and can also usually provide you with a referral. If you're in pain, try out some of these alternative therapies. One of them just might make things better.

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