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Looking for an alternative form of pain relief? Whilst over-the-counter drugs and prescribed medicine are some of the most effective ways to fight pain, other options are always worth exploring. Such options are great as a supplement or as a replacement if the side-effects of conventional pain relief don’t agree with you. Here are several alternative ways to fight pain that you can try.

Cold and Heat

The cold and the heat have long been used to treat injuries. Within the first couple days of having an injury, applying an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to the injury can be useful for easing inflammation and reducing pain. After these first few days, it’s then recommended that you move onto treatments involving heat. Placing a hot flannel on an injury or taking a hot bath can help to fight inflammation by relaxing muscles. Hot baths in particular are recommended by doctors in all kinds of situations from chronic back pain to child labour – as well as relaxing muscles and fighting inflammation, a hot bath can provide a feelgood endorphin rush that can help to numb pain.


Massages are another common way of relieving pain. Sports massages are often recommended for sports injuries – these aren’t your usual relaxing massages and can be quite painful at the time, but they can help to relieve pain in the long run. Traditional massages tend to provide short-term pain relief and can be used to help with all kinds of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal conditions to migraines to IBS cramps.


This ancient Chinese form of holistic medicine involves inserting tiny long needles into the skin. Whilst it sounds painful, these needles are so fine that they don’t cause any pain or bleeding. The needles are targeted at specific pressure points – whilst not medically credited, many people find this to be an effective form of pain relief. When getting this treatment, you should always visit a qualified acupuncture professional. Acupuncture can similarly be used to ease pain caused by all kinds of ailments ranging from tennis elbow to sciatica.

Chiropractic Manipulation

Chiropractic manipulation is a treatment commonly used for muscular and skeletal conditions. It involves applying pressure with the hands to bones and muscles and is commonly used to free trapped nerves and realign joints, helping to ease and sometimes cure chronic pain. Such treatment should only be performed by a licensed chiropractor. Doctors may recommend seeing a chiropractor for certain conditions.

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Being physically active can often help to fight pain. It can help to loosen up muscles and get blood flowing around the body, whilst releasing feelgood endorphins. This all helps to ease inflammation and relieve pain. Certain types of physical activity may aggravate certain injuries and conditions, so it’s best to talk to your doctor first about which activities they recommend. Low impact exercise is usually the safest option – this includes exercises such as swimming, walking and yoga in which you’re not applying too much sudden pressure to any joints.

Herbal Remedies

There are lots of herbal forms of pain relief that you can also try out. The likes of turmeric and ginger are popular anti-inflammatory foods that can be used to fight all kinds of pain from joint discomfort to stomach pains. Capsaicin, an ingredient found in chillies, can meanwhile be applied as a cream to help fight pain in many cases. You could even consider buying weed if it is legal in your area – whilst some people react negatively to its psychoactive properties, cannabis is medically proven to be an effective form of pain relief. When taking any herbal medicine, it’s worth always looking into the side-effects, especially if you’re also still taking conventional medicine.

Stress Reduction

Stress can aggravate inflammation by making muscles tenser. By taking measures to reduce stress, you could help to ease inflammation and ease the pain caused by this. There are many forms of stress reduction – some of which have already been mentioned as forms of pain relief such as taking a bath or exercising. Meditation is one of the most common forms of stress relief and could be worth trying if you suffer from chronic pain. Laughter is also a great way to fight stress and has also been shown to ease pain (laughter really is one of the best medicines!).


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