Relax with acupuncture
This Eastern treatment is a natural go-to when you’re looking for natural pain relief. “The evidence is now quite good that acupuncture can be helpful in low back pain, headache and arthritis. The benefits of acupuncture accumulate with ongoing treatment,” says Robert Bonakdar, MD, director of pain management at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California. He explains that acupuncture rewires the brain by tapping into cognitive areas that control the memory of and response to the hurt. Read up on these secrets your pain doctor won’t tell you.
Stay moving with exercise
“Exercise is one of the most powerful tools we have for chronic pain,” says Dr. Bonakdar. Staying active “allows patients to increase their level of endorphins, dopamine, and tissue oxygen, all which can help reduce pain while improving mood and sleep,” he adds. Dr. Bonakdar points to a 2017 Cochrane review that found that aerobic exercise likely improves quality of life and may reduce pain intensity in patients with fibromyalgia. That said, some people say that exercise increases discomfort, so to sidestep that problem, it’s important to see a doctor or physical therapist who can work with you to start a program and ramp up safely.