We are trained to believe that most things are treatable by medicine. As such, pain is typically perceived as something that a few over-the-counter painkillers can make go away. When painkillers don’t work as well, many patients move to the next step. They hope that doctors can prescribe stronger painkilling medicine and opioids that can cancel the sensation.
If you are familiar with the TV show Dr. House, where Hugh Laurie plays the Vicodin-addicted doctor, then you know that the body can become addicted to pain medications to the point where they are not effective any longer.
Once you’ve developed a level of tolerance to the medication that can make the pain go away, what else can you do? The good news is that you still have a few options that can help you handle the pain. However, you need to be willing to try alternative solutions when painkillers don’t work.
Reduce inflammation in the body
Inflammation can increase the sensation of pain. You may not be aware of inflammation in your body, but your diet can play a significant role in pain management. Inflammatory foods, such as gluten or sugar, for instance, can irritate your digestion and affect your pain sensors.
In addition, sugar, for instance, can lead to elevated blood sugar, which creates inflammation and exacerbates chronic pain. Starting a healthy diet that balances the nutrients – vitamins and minerals – that the body needs can reduce inflammation. As a result, the sensation of pain recedes.
Find topical soothing applications
Chronic pain can affect your body without allowing you to identify specific areas. On the other hand, some cases target specific areas, such as the back, the shoulders, or the hips, for instance. If you can narrow down the pain to identifiable patches, you can consider a topical treatment when painkillers don’t work.
For instance, acupuncture can relieve pain, especially for patients who don’t respond to painkilling medications. Additionally, medical marijuana ointment has been shown to have positive results; see this article for more information. Research has demonstrated how active compounds can interfere with pain receptors.
Change the way you think about your pain
Another way to handle pain when painkillers don’t work is to change the way you think about pain. Meditation doesn’t eliminate pain. However, meditation and relaxing your mind can create a favorable terrain to distance yourself from your pain.
A lot of individuals feel imprisoned by their chronic pain and can’t think of themselves without making pain part of the story. Putting distance in between you and the sensation enables you to challenge your awareness.
As you do, you can also free yourself temporarily from the vicious circle. You are not your pain. Remembering it can alleviate some of the suffering.
Distraction beats medication anytime
It’s no secret that the more you think about it, the more you hurt. Distraction is a wonderful thing that can push pain at the back of your mind when painkillers don’t work. Instead, focus on something you love, such as reading a book by your favorite author or engaging in hobby craft.
Spending time with friends and family can also disrupt your pain contemplation. Does it eliminate pain completely? It depends on people. But some say they can forget about it for a while.
Final Thoughts on when painkillers don’t work
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that painkillers are only one of the many ways to tackle pain. More and more pain management clinics are embracing alternative treatments and mindful therapies to help their patients – especially when painkillers don’t work. The bottom line: Sometimes, popping the pill is not the right answer!