Chronic Pain and Effective Complementary Therapies
Chronic pain is a problem that afflicts many people in society. It can increase morbidity and mortality in patients who suffer from it. Chronic pain is the third most frequent recognized health problem and in the last fifty years, the issue of pain has reached the point in which the health sector sees that it needs to be addressed. The aim of making any progress is to optimize therapeutic approaches.
Chronic pain entails many factors in terms of patient suffering, such as psychological, physiological, and pharmacological. The use of non-pharmacologic means of controlling chronic pain is view in a positive light. Below are several complementary interventions as well as non-pharmacological ways of bringing pain relief under better control.
- Sensorial Stimulation: This technique uses the primary senses such as sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch through the use of different tools such as meditative music, aromatherapy with relaxant essential oils, tactile surfaces, etc. to bring on relaxation in the patient with chronic pain. It is hoped that reducing tension will reduce the pain sensations. Distraction from pain with pleasurable input to each of the senses is helpful as well.
- Music Therapy: Music therapy is the use of music and sound that is aimed at developing skills and/or helping to restore the patient’s functioning. Listening to music has been found to be effective in chronic pain as well as depression, disabilities, and improves a person’s sense of empowerment.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Program: Cognitive therapy is an intervention that focuses on the reconstruction of a person cognitively. It promotes a collaborative therapeutic alliance with the therapist and the patient and there is a use of behavioral and emotional methods associated through a structured framework. It has been found this type of therapy significantly reduced pain intensity, helped facilitate better sleep, and increased the quality of life in patients.
- Psycho-Education Program: Psycho-education has good evidence to support the evidence of suitable management of chronic pain. It provides a patient with information to help them understand and manage their disease. It offers resources and skills for coping and offers education that contributes to his or her own health and well-being.
- Guided Imagery: Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that can be a very effective way of controlling pain. It uses a visualization of things that are pleasant to an individual. This helps to create a distraction from the pain. A study on guided imagery found it was effective in chronic headaches in addition to the common pharmacological treatment. It is a low-cost way to treat headaches without using prescription medications as much.
There are many professionals available to assist you with finding the best complementary therapy for you. You may be able to use one or select a few interventions to help you control your chronic pain.
JBI Nursing intervention for adult patients experiencing chronic pain Best Practice 15(10) 2011