A spinal cord injury can turn the life you know and love into an existence you hardly recognize. And if you're the caregiver for someone struggling with spinal cord injury pain, you may feel helpless to assist your loved one on the journey to feeling better.
A spinal cord injury is a potentially life-threatening experience, not something you should try to treat with home remedies alone. But if medical care isn't enough to manage the physical burden or you'd like to improve your chances of recovery, these alternative remedies for spinal cord injury pain have been found to be useful companions to traditional medical treatment.
Herbal Supplements and Vitamins
In recent years, doctors have increasingly recognized the power of Omega-3 fatty acids to support brain and spinal cord health. Spinal cord injuries are no exception to this rule, with a handful of studies supporting the claim that a daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids can improve pain. Consider fish oil, DHA, or flax seed oil to get the greatest benefits. Dimethyl sulfoxide may also help. Don't forget about your daily multivitamin either, since calcium and vitamin D are vital for bone and spinal cord health.
Additionally, some spinal cord injury patients have turned to functional medicine physicians to get advice on herbal supplements. Phytotherapy is the systematic use of customized herbs to treat spinal cord injury pain, and a few small studies suggest that it works for some patients. Even when herbal remedies fail, though, they're safe so long as you stick to relatively low doses approved by your doctor.
Acupuncture, which targets specific points on the body thought to be correlated with various ailments, has been around for thousands of years. Until the last two decades or so, acupuncture remained on the fringes of medicine. Now, doctors are increasingly recognizing its effectiveness to both reduce spinal cord injury pain and improve long-term outcomes. And even when acupuncture doesn't work, it's harmless and painless, making this safe alternative remedy a worthwhile gamble.
A spinal cord injury changes your life in ways you might never have anticipated. For both patients and their caregivers, the stress can be immense, leading not only to depression and anxiety but also to increased pain. Psychological treatment helps, even if you don't feel depressed. Not only will you learn new ways to cope with everyday challenges; you might even experience less pain since therapy can teach you how to manage spinal cord injury pain.
Yoga keeps both your mind and body in excellent condition, making it easier to cope with the psychological and physical pain of a spinal cord injury. The gentle stretching can help alleviate the muscle tension that often comes with a more sedentary lifestyle. Even better, steady yoga can play a key role in rehabilitation, helping you or your loved one gain more mobility and greater independence.
Remember to discuss any alternative remedies for your spinal cord pain with your doctor. “Natural” does not always mean safe, and even herbal remedies can negatively interact with prescription medications.
Do you have additional questions about adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury? Click on the button below for a free consultation with a spinal cord injury recovery coach.
Written by Zawn VillinesZawn Villines is a writer specializing in health and legal journalism. Raised by a lawyer and lobbyist who advocated for spinal cord injury survivors, she is a lifelong advocate for spinal injury victims and their loved ones. You can connect with Zawn on Google+ below.
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