Pain Treatment Natural Alternative

While some people turn to traditional methods to treat pain, such as pain pills, medicated lotions and liquid pain medications, others look to alternative ways to treat pain. In recent years, more and more people have turned to such alternative pain relief methods as acupressure and acupuncture to cope with and eliminate pain.

While some people use only alternative pain relief, many others use alternative pain relief methods in combination with more traditional pain relief therapies. For instance, a person who is on prescription medication for chronic pain may benefit by supplementing treatment with a healthy diet and an exercise regimen.

Alternative pain relief includes more well-known therapies, such as acupuncture, acupressure and massage therapy, as well as some less common pain relief methods, including BOTOX® and cryotherapy. In this section, we’ll discuss alternative pain relief methods. We’ll offer the pros and cons of each pain therapy and also discuss cost, side effects and more.

Alternative Pain Relief: BOTOX®

Many people know that BOTOX® can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Fewer people know that BOTOX® is effective at treating migraines. Interestingly, BOTOX® has been used to treat pain longer than it has been used to smooth lines and wrinkles.

In studies, researchers found that 80 percent of migraine sufferers who received BOTOX® injections experienced relief from migraine pain for four to six months. Researchers believe BOTOX® reduces migraine pain by not only relaxing muscles but also by blocking the transmission of pain signals.

To help treat migraine pain, doctors can inject BOTOX® in the following locations:

  • around the eyes
  • back of the head
  • sides of the neck
  • the brow
  • the forehead.

In addition to migraines, pain caused by neck spasms and lower back pain can be alleviated by BOTOX®.

Aternative Pain Relief: Cryotherapy

In cryotherapy, physicians use extreme cold to treat pain and remove diseased tissues. While cryotherapy has been used for many years in sports medicine, it is now being used more and more as a method of alternative pain relief.

Since the 1960s, physicians have used cryotherapy to treat skin tumors and to remove precancerous skin moles, skin tags and freckles. In pain management, cryotherapy is used to deaden an irritated nerve, thus blocking the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. Doctors consider cryotherapy a safe and effective way to treat localized nerve irritation.

During a cryotherapy procedure, a patient can expect the following:

  1. A doctor will insert a probe into the tissue next to the affected nerve.
  2. The temperature of the probe drops in order to freeze the nerve.
  3. The nerve is rendered inactive, resulting in the elimination of pain.

Although considered safe, cryotherapy can cause numbness or tingling in the tissue or redness and irritation of the skin. These side effects of cryotherapy are generally temporary.

Benign nerve growths and pinched nerves can be treated successfully with cryotherapy.

Resources

A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Resource (2007). Botox for Migraine Headache. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Web site: http://www.aboardcertifiedplasticsurgeonresource.com/botox/migraines.html.

MedicineNet, Inc. (reviewed 2007). Cryotherapy in Pain Management. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the MedicineNet Web site: http://www.medicinenet.com/cryotherapy/article.htm.