Overcoming an addiction may be the hardest challenge your loved one will ever face in their life. The physical toll and emotional damage that a substance use disorder can inflict on their mind and body can leave them struggling to simply exist.
Once your loved one achieves sobriety and begins piecing their life back together, the last thing they need to face is a physical injury that requires them to take pain medication in order to heal the damage and get back to normal.
Luckily for your loved one, there are a number of natural methods and alternatives to managing their pain other than popping a pill and risking a relapse.
You can help them understand their options and work with them to construct a plan that avoids the use of pain medication. Your support on multiple levels can empower them to heal, maintain their sobriety and continue to forge their recovery journey with no setbacks.
Why Pain Relievers are so Effective
Prescription painkillers flood with dopamine and other feel-good chemicals that take away the pain. Pain medications trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, muffling your loved one’s perception of pain and creating a temporary but powerful sense of well-being.
However, with repeated use, your loved one’s brain adapts to this chemical imbalance and tries to return to its normal state while becoming less sensitive to the effects of the pain medication. This causes your loved one to build up a tolerance to the drug and forces them to ingest larger amounts to achieve the desired effect.
Natural Pain Relievers Can Prove to be Effective, Too
For a recovering addict dealing with a physical injury, incorporating a natural pain reliever to address their physical discomfort can be the only option available to avoid a relapse and maintain their sobriety.
Fortunately, natural pain relievers take treatment techniques and homeopathic approaches that have been used for centuries and incorporate them into modern medical interventions. This allows your loved one to address their physical discomfort in a manner that is both effective and safe, providing them relief from pain and a sustainable way of maintaining their sobriety.
Mind-body techniques can be effective for treating chronic pain. Through these methods, your loved one may learn that some of their pain still exists, but they can cope – whether through meditation, deep breathing, or another practice – without taking pain medications.1
How to Relieve Pain Without Medication
Understandably, your loved one may want to reach for prescription pain medications to deal with physical pain, but we can’t reiterate enough: homeopathic treatments and natural pain relievers can be just as effective.
Understanding the available options is essential to establishing a plan and providing your loved one with viable alternatives to prescription painkillers. Some of the more established natural pain relievers include:
- Integrative Medicine Techniques – These techniques – which include yoga, tai chi and acupuncture – tap into the mind-body connection. Integrative techniques combine the power of breath, movement and mindfulness to relieve pain by calming unhealthy activity in the mind. (2)
- Regular Exercise – Exercise may be the last thing on your loved one’s mind when they’re in pain, but gentle activity can actually help your loved one recover. Exercise in the form of walking, biking or swimming loosens stiff muscles and improves blood flow, both of which speed your body’s natural healing process. (1)
- Therapy for Your Mind – Anxiety, stress and depression can aggravate chronic pain, so it’s important for your loved one to not ignore the emotional side of their pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy can effectively lessen chronic pain because it teaches your loved one how to manage thoughts and feelings and their body’s physical response to discomfort. Biofeedback is another method that can teach your loved one how to control their body’s reactions to pain, while hypnosis allows deep relaxation to help with pain management.
The treatment option(s) that are best for your loved one depend on several factors, including the type of pain they’re experiencing and what caused it.
It’s often possible to get relief without medication and avoid unpleasant side effects; it just requires a bit of patience and persistence to find which alternative treatment option best fits your loved one’s needs.
After Knowing How to Relieve Pain Naturally, Will Your Loved One Go for It?
As in all circumstances, there are no guarantees in life. Gently approaching your loved one with proven treatment techniques that are natural and free of prescription painkillers is a great place to start; but there is no assurance they will appreciate your efforts or follow through with the options you’ve provided them.
That does not mean you should avoid helping them; it only offers perspective if they refuse your assistance. Research has shown that extended use of prescription pain medication can prove physically detrimental and can easily trigger a relapse in a recovering addict. (3)
Working with your loved one to find a holistic treatment facility that specializes in natural pain remedies and recovery support is an excellent way to not only encourage their continued sobriety, but to also ensure they avoid unnecessary setbacks along their recovery journey.
Holistic Addiction Rehab and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery
Wherever your loved one is on their addiction or recovery journey – if they’re contending with a severe addiction, working to become sober, trying to overcome a relapse or currently sober – we’re here for them and your entire family.
With customized treatment plans that fit your loved one’s unique recovery needs and offering a holistic alternative to the traditional 12-step program, Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic treatment services can help your loved one stop abusing pain medications and forge a fulfilling, clean future.
From the moment they start therapy, we can help them every step of the way. Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery’s all-encompassing addiction treatment programs and rehab approach or contact us today to get your questions answered.
1) Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Accessed February 18, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/guidelines_factsheet-a.pdf.
2) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Relaxation Techniques for Health. Accessed February 18, 2020. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm.
3) Science Direct. The impact of stress on addiction. Accessed February 18, 2020. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924977X03001779.