Natural Tools Can Stop New Aches, Chronic Pain (Part 1)
By Sally Williams, DO, Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine Sioux Falls
If you've got a new ache or a chronic pain, there are many natural tools that you can try, with our help that really do make big differences.
Sometimes, as we work together, we can find just one effective tool to help you with a pain that has cropped up for you. Other times, especially with chronic pain, you may benefit from combining multiple tools together to help you feel your best.
More Relaxing Than Anything
One of my favorite tools for pain management is acupuncture. Acupuncture can be an effective tool to treat or manage just about any type of pain. It involves the use of thin hair-like needles being inserted at various points on the body.
Most people, at first hearing "needles" worry a bit, but I have worked with hundreds of people who do really well with their acupuncture treatments. They actually find it relaxing when they give an honest try.
Depending on how long your pain has been a part of your life, you may require several treatments. For some of my patients, that could be a half-dozen or more treatments over a period of time. Since this approach is natural, and the treatment has little to no side effects, it's safe to add acupuncture to other approaches or medications that you may already be using for pain.
Food as a Pain-Fighting Tool
Your diet is an important tool to consider when fighting pain, regardless if it is new or chronic.
When you consider the food you typically consume, you may not realize it, but those foods are telling your body to do certain things. Some foods end up feeding disease or contributing to ongoing inflammation in your body.
But other foods actually aim to help your body heal, and they combat inflammation while fighting off disease. I think a lot of people tend to underestimate the power of this tool.
In all of my years working as a physician, I have been truly amazed at the positive effects that come with just changing diet. I can't even begin to tell you all of the symptoms and conditions I have personally seen improve solely based on dietary changes.
Often times, you may have reservations on changing how you eat, and we can help you figure it out. One approach, known as an elimination diet, helps you simply by taking out packaged and processed foods while increasing your intake of whole foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits.
Behavioral changes are hard; I understand. But when it comes to day-in, day-out pain – don't you want to get rid of it? You can get on that path with some gradual but steady approaches to the way you eat.
Pain is something Americans face more than almost any other condition, illness or disease, and I look forward to the chance to help you explore the tools that will work best for your pain and symptoms.
The second part of this story looks at tools to fight pain.