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How to Manage Pain Without the Use of Medication

August 31, 2021
Man sitting and rubbing back in pain

Chronic pain is hard to control and even harder to live with. Many people have turned to highly addictive prescription painkillers to reduce their pain levels. But there are many options for drug-free pain management that can help you live a fulfilling and pain-free life. The experts at Richmond University Medical Center share some ways to help manage pain without using drugs:

Chiropractic Therapy

Chiropractic therapy is the most common non-surgical treatment for back pain, and it is also useful for treating neck pain and headaches. A chiropractor manipulates the spine to help the body function properly and reduce pain levels. Trying chiropractic treatments as your first option before drugs helps decrease the number of opioids prescribed, which is one of the main causes of the current opioid epidemic in our country. Chiropractic care is often the preferred first-line treatment for drug-free pain management of lower back, neck, and neuromusculoskeletal pain.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Exercise and physical therapy both improve muscle tone and strength and can lead to reduced pain levels. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which help relieve musculoskeletal pain without real painkillers. If you are looking for exercises that will not aggravate your body, try yoga or tai chi, both of which are guided programs that focus on breathing and relaxation techniques.

Bioelectric Therapy

Bioelectric therapy helps to relieve pain by blocking pain messages to the brain and prompting the body to produce endorphins to decrease or eliminate painful sensations. This works because the endorphins block the message of pain from being received by the brain. This method is useful for treating many types of chronic and acute conditions that cause pain, including arthritis and diabetic neuropathy.

Mind-Body Therapies

Mind-body therapies are healing techniques that enhance the mind’s interactions with the body and its functions to help induce relaxation and reduce pain. These different techniques can help alleviate discomfort related to chronic pain without the use of drugs. They include:


Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which practitioners use small needles to stimulate specific spots on the body. Many studies have shown that acupuncture can help with chronic pain conditions, like lower back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and knee pain.


Hypnosis has been used for many years to help manage pain without drugs. Hypnotherapists teach visualization techniques and provide suggestions to help patients respond differently to sensations and feelings in their bodies. This can help them use relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety and reduce pain levels.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another effective method of providing drug-free relief from chronic pain, especially in the back or neck. You may get just the affected areas massaged or the whole body to provide relief from pain and improve circulation. Massage enhances blood flow throughout your body to reduce stress and tension to relieve muscle pain.


Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help you reduce the fight-or-flight response your body experiences when it is in pain, as well as increase relaxation. Meditation allows you to use your mind to focus your attention and regulate your breathing, which can then lower your blood pressure and provide physical relaxation with less pain.

Learn More About Drug-Free Pain Management

If you are struggling with chronic pain, you may want to think about trying a drug-free pain management option before turning to pain medications. Contact us today for more information about drug-free pain management options available through Richmond University Medical Center.