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Physical therapy. This may include hot
and cold therapy to relieve painful areas of the body. It may also include
range-of-motion exercises to maintain strength,
flexibility, and mobility.
Professional counseling (such as
cognitive-behavioral therapy). This treatment focuses
on your mental health and conditions such as
depression, which can happen along with chronic pain
and make the pain worse. To recover from chronic pain, it is important to be
healthy emotionally and physically.
Your doctor may refer you to a
pain management clinic to receive these treatments. These clinics provide a
setting where you can receive treatment and learn to cope with chronic pain.
Treatment is usually provided by a team of doctors who work together to address
the many possible causes of your chronic pain. You may also receive these
treatments from your own doctor or from specialists who treat chronic
may reduce pain, help you cope with stress, and improve your emotional and
physical well-being. These include:
Acupuncture, a treatment based on
traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves putting very thin needles into the skin at certain points on the body.
Aromatherapy, or essential oils therapy, which uses a
plant's aroma-producing oils (essential oils) to treat
Biofeedback, a method of consciously controlling a
body function that is normally regulated automatically by the body, such as
Chiropractic therapy, a hands-on therapy based on the
theory that many medical disorders (especially disorders of the nervous system)
may be caused by subluxations in the spine.
Guided imagery, a
series of thoughts and suggestions that direct a person's imagination toward a
relaxed, focused state.
Healing touch, which influences a
person's physical or emotional health without physically touching the
Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, which is a
medical philosophy and practice based on the idea that the body has the ability
to heal itself.
Hydrotherapy, which uses water, in any
form, to treat a disease or to maintain health.
Hypnosis, which is a state of focused concentration
during which a person becomes less aware of his or her surroundings. Some
people learn to manage pain through concentrating in this special
Magnet field therapy, a treatment that uses magnets to
stimulate areas of the body to try to maintain health and treat illness.
Massage, which is rubbing the soft tissues of the
body, such as the muscles, to help reduce tension and pain, improve blood flow,
and encourage relaxation.
Meditation, which is
the practice of focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a
clear awareness about your life.
promotes using organic foods and exercise; having a healthy, balanced
lifestyle; and applying concepts from other areas of complementary medicine
(such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, and herbal therapies) to try to improve health,
prevent disease, and treat illness.
Yoga, which uses
meditation and exercises to help you improve flexibility and breathing, reduce
stress, and maintain health.
What To Think About
If you decide to try one or more
of these complementary therapies to treat your chronic pain, find a health
professional who has special training and, whenever possible, certification in
the particular therapy. You may get a referral from someone you trust such as
your doctor, family, or friends. Make sure all of your health professionals
know every type of treatment you are using to reduce chronic pain.