Types of Alternative Treatment Available for Chronic Pain Disorders

According to the CDC, over 20% of the adult population in the U.S. has suffered from chronic pain in recent years. While chronic pain rates are higher among Americans over the age of 65, chronic pain can affect people of any age.

In recent years, the acceptance and use of prescription opioids to treat chronic pain has exploded. While these drugs might help to ease the symptoms of pain temporarily, taking them comes with significant risk.

If you are suffering from chronic pain disorders, there are other options beyond taking narcotics. Let’s check out alternative treatments to try if you are suffering from ongoing pain.

Why Might You Want to Avoid Narcotics as Chronic Pain Treatment?

There are several reasons why you might want to find alternative medical treatment options for chronic pain instead of taking prescribed narcotics. Also referred to as opioids, these drugs can help to relieve short-term pain. However, they have several undesirable and potentially life-altering side effects.

Taking narcotics doesn’t just impair your judgment or make you sleepy and confused. They can also be incredibly addictive. Even when taken as prescribed by a doctor, it is possible to develop a crippling addiction to opioid pain relievers.

Chronic Pain Disorders: What Types of Alternative Treatments Are Available?

If you are experiencing chronic pain, it’s important to exhaust all other options before turning to opioids. You might find that one of these alternative pain treatments helps reduce your pain in a natural and healthy way.


Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique where specific points on the body are stimulated through the insertion of thin needles through the skin. Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for about three thousand years, this therapy is increasingly understood to help with a growing list of medical conditions.

Several studies suggest that many types of pain can be helped by acupuncture. These include low-back pain, neck pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, and more.

Mind-Body Therapies

Another type of alternative treatment for chronic pain disorders is mind-body therapy. These can include a wide variety of approaches, including:

  • Meditation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Guided imagery
  • Hypnosis
  • Biofeedback

Studies have found that relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can help to reduce stress-related pain.

Chiropractic Treatment

One of the most common nonsurgical treatments for back pain is chiropractic treatment. People seek this type of treatment for other types of chronic pain as well, including neck pain, headaches, and certain arm and leg conditions.

Lifestyle Changes

Some people might find that their pain is better managed by changing their diet and lifestyle. There are several schools of thought with the relationship between diet and pain, some of which focus on reducing anti-inflammatory agents in foods.

Another important lifestyle change that people suffering from chronic pain can make is working to reduce their stress. Increasingly, researchers understand that stress, inflammation, pain, and chronic diseases are intricately linked.

There are a lot of different things can that trigger stress, and you might find that your triggers lie somewhere in your home life, relationships, work, or elsewhere in your life. It’s a good idea to identify the stressors in your life so that you can help to reduce them.

One way to reduce your stress levels is to spend more time in nature. There are also some studies that have found that music therapy might have a positive impact on pain. It’s also a good idea to make sure you are practicing healthy sleep habits.

Nutritional Supplements

Some people with chronic pain also choose to take nutritional supplements to manage their pain. While there is typically not as much research regarding the efficacy of nutritional supplements when compared to pharmaceutical drugs, you might find that some supplements help you go about your daily business with less pain. Consider talking to your pain management doctor about what supplements could help with your condition.

Herbal Remedies

There are a lot of different herbal remedies that are thought to help reduce pain. When you search around for information about herbal remedies online, you’ll likely find a broad spectrum of opinions regarding their efficacy. The best way to go about determining whether an herbal remedy is worth pursuing is to look into studies regarding the specific herb you are considering taking. As always, talk to your doctor about the right course of action for you.

Everything from ginger and peppermint to eucalyptus and capsaicin (a compound in chili peppers) is thought to help reduce pain.

Therapeutic Touch

Have you ever considered trying energy-based techniques in order to reduce your pain? Reiki healing and other therapeutic touch methods are thought to help activate the self-healing process of a person. There have only been a limited number of small studies regarding the efficacy of this type of technique.

Physical Therapy

Another common alternative treatment is physical therapy for chronic pain. When you undergo physical therapy, it can help you move and feel better while also strengthening you. Physical therapy doesn’t just help to treat your pain, but it can also help to treat the source of the problem.

Are You Ready to Improve Your Chronic Pain Disorders?

Many of these alternative treatments for chronic pain disorders can help you have more energy and feel better in your everyday life. These are holistic approaches that support your whole being, while narcotics can often have a net negative effect on one’s life.

Is it time for you to try some alternative treatments for your pain? If so, contact us today.