7 Weird Ways To Alleviate Pain
For countless people, pain is a part of everyday life. To cope, many rely on prescription or over-the-counter pain medications that can have serious long-term consequences. Before you pop another pill, learn ten weird ways you can alleviate your pain.
Listen to Music
A study out of Glasgow University in Scotland found that music has the power to ease rheumatoid arthritis pain. Patients also enjoyed greater mobility while listening to their favorite songs.
British researchers recently found that subjects were able to endure pain 35 percent longer when they shouted curse words. Although it’s not clear why, they suspect that swearing may trigger a series of hormonal and physical reactions that take the edge off pain.
Look at Photos
By viewing pictures of loved ones, you may be able to relieve some of your pain. A recent study suggests that this act may cause the body to release chemicals which shut down the pain-processing parts of the brain.
Smell a Green Apple
The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago conducted a study which found that green apple scent improved migraine symptoms. Other studies have shown that green apple scent may also reduce anxiety.
A Johns Hopkins study determined that people experienced less pain when they drummed up steamy, sexual fantasies in their heads.
Several experiments have shown that slow, deep breathing has the power to improve pain tolerance. This shouldn’t be a surprise to mothers, who often use this strategy to get through childbirth.
Psych Yourself Up
A Wake Forest University study found that subjects experienced less activity in the pain-processing brain regions when they expected low to moderate pain during experiments. On the other hand, when they were told the same pain would be severe, they experienced much more activity in these regions. According to researchers, their study indicates that people may be able to blunt their pain by telling themselves that they can handle it.
When Tricks Aren’t Enough
Sadly, millions of Americans suffer from severe chronic pain which won’t respond to coping strategies. For these people, pain medications are a part of everyday life. That said, according to Dr. Kevin Berry, modern treatments allow many people to escape the cycle of pain and medications, which could promote health problems down the road.
“Many of my temporomandibular joint disorder patients arrive at my office because they are concerned that pain medications could harm their health down the road,” he said. “Fortunately, by providing a non-medicinal remedy for TMD, we’re able to relieve their symptoms and free them from their dependence on medications. Often, people live with chronic pain, because they don’t realize their conditions are treatable. If someone is enduring a daily struggle against pain, they should visit a health professional, even if they believe their chronic pain is un-treatable.”
A Big Issue
Studies have linked common over-the-counter pain relievers to everything from cardiovascular disease to sexual dysfunction. In fact, acetaminophen is the number one cause of liver failure in the United States. If you are relying on OTC medications to treat your chronic pain, explore different strategies; or you could end up with irreversible problems that could have been avoided.
Ryan Lawrence writes for Off-Topic Media. Photo by Tom Varco. Thanks to Dr. Kevin Berry for his contributions regarding TMD in this story.