Overcoming Pain without Prescription Medications

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Many individuals endure a varying level of pain on a daily basis. Whether pain is acute or chronic in nature, pain management is an essential component of improving overall quality of life for the countless people who are experiencing any form of pain.

Whether if recovering from a minor or major surgery or dealing with side effects from a chronic disease, such as cancer, painkillers can be a helpful part of making daily tasks more doable and accomplishable.

Rise in Prescription Drug Abuse

Unfortunately, painkiller prescription abuse has been on the rise, especially in America, where many individuals are misusing prescriptions painkillers or becoming addicted to the substances they have come to rely on. Prescription painkillers are one of the top categories of drugs that are commonly abused, likely because of the addictive nature of these medications.

Many individuals may mistakenly believe that prescription painkillers are perhaps safer to use than other illicit or street drugs, because they are regulated and prescribed by a doctor. However, if a prescription painkiller is taken more frequently than needed, used without a prescription, or taken beyond a course that is recommended by a physician, there is likely abuse or addiction involved.

Natural Alternatives for Pain Relief

Looking towards natural and alternative forms of pain relief can be helpful in preventing prescription painkiller abuse. While these methods may not be effective for all individuals, alternative forms of pain relief can possibly help reduce the need or frequency of prescription painkillers.

Some forms of natural pain relief include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic care
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy

Other alternatives may include heat or ice therapy that target sore/stiff muscles in the body. Even making adjustments to your schedule, postural changes, nutrition and sleep habits can all work together to help improve your overall quality of life and well being.

What Works Best for You?

Lady doing yoga in sunriseIn every situation, it is important to closely examine what works best for you as an individual. Many alternative forms of pain relief are risk-free or come with significantly lower risks than the choice of pursuing prescription medication use.

Work with your doctor to devise a plan that may work best to meet your needs and simultaneously help you with pain control.

Community Discussion- Share your thoughts here!

What are alternative forms of pain relief that have been effective for you?

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.  

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 29th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com