One-fifth of the Canadian population suffers from chronic pain, reports the Canadian Pain Society. Many patients opt to use alternative or non-conventional therapies in addition to or in lieu of traditional treatments. Below, we briefly outline five alternatives to traditional pain treatments, options that you should discuss with your practitioner if you suffer from chronic pain.
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Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles into the top layers of skin. Pain and musculoskeletal conditions are the primary reasons patients seek acupuncture treatment, accounting for 70 percent of patient complaints in the U.S., reports the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
To locate a practitioner in your area, you can use the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute’s online Practitioners Search page.
Homeopathy is a treatment approach that involves using minute doses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s healing system. It focuses on disease prevention and health enhancement by using a combination of natural medicines and patient education.
To locate a homeopathic practitioner in your area, peruse the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine’s online directory of practitioners.
Physical exercise is one of the best treatments for pain management, according to the Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD).
It may also help:
- improve serum lipid levels;
- reduce blood pressure; and
- manage body weight.
The CIRPD recommends getting at least 30 minutes of physical exercise most days of the week. Before beginning any exercise program, get your doctor’s approval.
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Occupational therapy a form of rehabilitative therapy that helps improve patients’ performance of activities required in daily life. It’s particularly effective for those recovering from a physical injury. Occupational therapists focus on engaging the patients, helping them develop self-efficacy and pain self-management skills, promoting pain health literacy, and working to prevent chronic pain.
You can email the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them for assistance in helping locate a therapist in your area.
Infrared therapy is a treatment approach that uses infrared heat or light to relieve pain and increase circulation. In a study reported in Pain Research & Management in 2006, chronic pain patients’ perceived level of pain was rated on a numerical rating scale (NRS) of one to 10.
Patients who were given infrared treatment saw their NRS scores drop from 6.9 to 3, whereas patients who were given a placebo saw their NRS scores drop from a 7.4 to a 6, indicating the efficacy of infrared therapy.
Discuss this treatment with your doctor as well to learn more and to see if it might be a good option for you.
Help Filing an Ontario Chronic Pain Claim
If you want to file a claim for compensation related to your chronic pain or would like to discuss your legal options, call our lawyers in Ontario at Preszler Law. Contact us at 1-800-JUSTICE® for a free, no-obligation consultation today.