New Alternatives to Pain Management

We all experience different types of pain in our lives. Whether physical, mental, emotional or otherwise, pain is something we address because living with pain is not fully living at all. When we think of pain, our minds generally jump to associations such as headaches, stomach aches or muscle pain. These are the most common forms of pain experienced by us as humans, but some people suffer from unique types of pain that require very precise and specific treatment in order to eradicate them completely.

A study at the Nebraska Medical Center's Pain Management Program believes that for those rare pain problems, the secret to success is not in any medicine but in mental exercises.

Disorders such as chronic sensory pain, which involves taste and touch, is a disorder where in the person suffering feels pain at even the thought of certain foods or drinks. The disease hinders sufferers in that they cant eat normally, are limited to a small diet which can have adverse effects on their overall health. Living with this disorder makes life harder to live, as something as simple as eating a meal can become impossible to do because of the level of pain experienced.

This new approach developed at the institute has techniques that include, swishing a cherry tomato around in the mouth for one minute, and then chewing it for 30 seconds before swallowing it. This is done to decrease the sensitivity felt for that certain foods. Done multiple times over the course of three days, this method, along with many others for various types of pain disorders, has helped drastically. Some other methods include visual imagery, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation. Learning how to adapt to the body's pain challenges the central nervous system into changing. Being in pain for so long, the brain becomes consumed by it and is unable to fully block it out.

This type of outside the box thinking is revolutionizing pain management. Many sufferers are told that the pain they feel and experience is in their heads, but pain for these people, is very real. These new methods are paving the way for those with rare pain disorders to lead normal lives.


Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

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