Natural Pain Relief Remedies Help Chronic Pain Sufferers Avoid Opiate Side Effects

Chronic pain is an often debilitating condition that affects a significant portion of the population. According to facts and figures on pain provided by the American Academy of Pain Management, over a quarter of the U.S. adult population, which is about 76 million Americans, must cope with the effects of chronic pain on a daily basis.

Understanding The Difference Between Acute Pain And Chronic Pain

Acute pain is usually of short duration and it is the body's natural way of signaling the brain that something is not functioning properly. This type of pain typically occurs during an illness or after injury. Once the underlying condition is treated, the sensation of pain quickly passes.

Chronic pain tends to linger for days, months, and sometimes years after the initial injury or illness. Its intensity can wax and wane over time, and suddenly come roaring back to full strength with little to no warning. Chronic pain is a sensation that can be felt anywhere in the body and frequently leads to an interruption in the normal everyday activities of its sufferers.

Opiates Prescribed For Chronic Pain

Opiates and other pain medications are often prescribed to those who suffer from pain. Opiates work by interfering with the transmission of the pain signal that is sent from nerves found in the injured or sick part of the body to the brain, thereby reducing the sufferer's perception of the intensity of the pain.

Abuse Of Alcohol, And Prescription Painkillers, Common In Sufferers Of Chronic Pain

While some individuals turn to prescription pain medications to help them cope with the effects of chronic pain, others may turn to alcohol or other substances in order to help them deal with lingering sensations of pain. Over time, the body quickly builds a tolerance to both alcohol and opiates.

This means that it takes an increased amount of alcohol or drugs to relieve the pain, so physical dependence quickly develops. Addiction is a very real possibility for those who drink alcohol or take opiates to cope with pain, even when painkillers are prescribed and used as directed.

Once signs of physical or psychological dependence develop, alcohol addiction treatment and treatment for opiate addiction is often necessary to help individuals to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that often accompany efforts to stop using and abusing substances.

Many Chronic Pain Sufferers Now Turning To Natural Pain Relief And Alternative Therapies To Avoid Side Effects And Addiction

Since the side effects associated with alcohol and opiate use are so dangerous and devastating, an increasing number of chronic pain sufferers are beginning to seek out natural forms of pain relief to help them cope with the sensations of pain. Complimentary therapies can help chronic pain sufferers and others to boost and maintain their overall health and well-being, so that it is no longer necessary to take expensive and potentially dangerous medications, including opiates.

Acupuncture, chiropractic care, Traditional Chinese Medicine, osteopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, meditation and bodywork are all forms of holistic medicine useful for chronic pain.

By treating the body and the person as an integrated whole, rather than waiting for a part of the body to become sick and then treating the symptoms, holistic practitioners seek to help their patients boost the immune system, prevent disease and use natural pain relief methods so that chronic pain sufferers can safely reduce their perception of pain while also avoiding the side effects of alcohol and opiates.

Ashley Andrews is a San Diego-based freelance writer who blogs on a wide range of green living, business, health and technology topics.

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