If you have chronic pain, then you would probably try anything to find some relief even if it means listening to every crazy idea out there.
If you've suffered from chronic pain for any length of time at all, there's no doubt that you've probably been told to try everything under the sun to help ease your symptoms.
From wearing flannel pajamas to placing potato peels on your back, everyone from your next door neighbor to your mama's hair stylist has a cure for you to try.
Do you want to know how to separate fact from fiction?
Take a look at these seven outrageous tricks for treating pain that really do work for some battling the war of chronic pain.
Will they work for you?
It depends on just how out of the box you're willing to go.
Yikes! Arachnophobia anyone?
That's right. A research team at the University of Queensland in Australia has been studying the effects of spider venom and how it could play a role in one day treating chronic pain symptoms. We all know how a spider's venom can paralyze its prey for long enough for the arachnid to do its thing. But the even more interesting part is that the spider's venom actually contains a huge amount of peptides that help to intercept nerve pathways inside the victim.
Scientists are hoping that by harnessing this peptide power, they can create a medicine that would shut off pain signals in the body and give much-needed relief to those suffering from chronic pain symptoms.
Though it will take some time to work out this kind of magic, researchers are hopeful that spider venom may one day bring relief to the nearly 100 million chronic pain sufferers.
The use of magnets to treat ailments has been around since the days of Cleopatra who used to wear one on her forehead while she slept to help promote youthfulness and beauty.
Today, the use of magnets for chronic pain is big business raking in billions of dollars each year. The idea is that magnets made up of metals and alloys can help ease pain by focusing their magnetism on the area with the pain.
There are different types of magnets available to treat pain. Static magnets have magnetic fields that don't change but remain focused on the one spot of pain. Electromagnets create an electrical current that helps with pain and have shown benefits when treating osteoarthritis. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating severe headaches. The medical community, however, isn't sure which way to go. They can't find real evidence that they work but they can't find evidence that they don't work either. So the general consensus is that if they are working for you, keep to it. If you've got a pacemaker or other medical device, the magnets can interrupt your signal and should not be used.
Flip Turn Upside Down? Fresh Prince said it best. Hanging upside down like a bat, a technique called inversion therapy can have small benefits for your back pain but only for the short term.
The idea is that flipping yourself over with your head in the downward position (usually with the help of an inversion device) can take tension or the gravitational pull off of your spine, giving your vertebrae and the nerves in your spine room to stretch and spread out.
For the short term, it can provide a nice feeling of relief. But it probably won't cure your long-term pain. Also, if you've got high blood pressure, glaucoma or heart disease, this is not the right exercise for you and should be avoided.
Okay, stay with us here. We know it's federally illegal in most states, but smoking the Mary J, medically that is, has been known to reduce chronic pain symptoms in some sufferers.
Here's what's going on. Research shows that medical cannabis has been known to moderately treat pain but research teams still have a lot of hoops to jump through to study cannabis use and its effect on pain.
So right now, there's a lot of red tape impeding the understanding of how it does or doesn't affect chronic pain. So what does that mean for the future? As more and more states are relaxing rules pertaining to the study of cannabis, the future could hold some interesting discoveries. For those that swear that cannabis helps ease their symptoms, it's an exciting movement. For those on the other side of the debate, there's still a lot to be studied and understood before any clear considerations are made.
If you're not planning to star in the next Gremlins relaunch, then you're probably just cupping instead.
What in the world is cupping? It's an alternative technique that uses heated glass or plastic suction cups to stimulate blood flow and relieve tension in certain areas on the body.
The cups can be applied to one area of the body or moved around depending on your needs. The ancient technique has been used for thousands of years to restore energy to the body. It feels much like a massage with the benefits of acupuncture.
Cupping is showing promising results when used on patients with fibromyalgia who reported less pain for longer periods of time.
Therapy using bees?
It's an ironic concept considering you spent your entire childhood avoiding the little demonic flying creatures. But for patients with Multiple Sclerosis or severe arthritis, bee sting therapy is becoming a Godsend. The venom of the bees is being injected into areas of the body like the neck and knees. After a few hours, the venom works to block the pain that normally comes from intense inflammation. Though doctors aren't sure exactly why it works, there are so many exciting things to uncover with this treatment. The downside to using actual bee stings, however, is that allergic reactions with devastating, even fatal, consequences can occur at any time without forewarning. Make sure you are monitored by your doctor when considering this type of treatment.
Okay. We wish we were talking about a donut a day keeping the doctor away too, but what we mean is that some treatments actually call for sugar to be injected into the body to help keep chronic back pain at bay. It's a little crazy to consider especially because we at the Feel Good Lab are under a general consensus to stay away from sugar as it can make arthritis and inflammation worse.
Still, some are out there living wild lives and trying out this crazy option. The technique called, prolotherapy treatment, uses a series of injections where sugar (in either dextrose or glucose form) is used alone or in combination with glycerin and phenol. The injections help trigger a healing response in the body that can reduce back pain. The treatment isn't always the first line of treatment for pain, so be sure to ask your doctor about it specifically if you're interested.