5 Out-of-the -Box Ideas for Pain Relief


Pain, in addition to causing physical distress, can cause significant emotional distress, making you mighty cranky, depressed, stressed and anxious. It can turn an ordinary day into a minute-by-minute challenge and shadow you into a sleepless night.

While pain sufferers may not concur on just one type of treatment, there is one thing they all agree on: Chronic pain impacts their quality of life in a big way.

It’s no wonder mankind has spent centuries searching for ways to alleviate pain—it’s a very common ailment, sadly. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, it affects more Americans than heart disease, diabetes and cancer—combined.

  • Massage Therapy. Massage as a means of pain relief goes way back. It’s been used in both Eastern and Western cultures throughout human history, being one of the earliest methods used to relieve pain.


  • Curcumin (turmeric). You might recognize this flowering plant of the ginger family as a spice in food, but its power goes beyond flavor. Long used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat digestive disorders and wound healing, it’s also used as an anti-inflammatory agent that can lower inflammation and the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as bursitis.


  • Acupuncture. It’s centuries old, originally used in Asia to treat many conditions and alleviate pain. It may have taken a while to catch on here in the United States and other Western countries, but acupuncture is now being used for relief from back pain and other conditions like nerve pain from shingles, headaches, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia and more.


  • Virtual Reality. Virtual reality has been studied to help with stress and anxiety, and using it for people with pain enables it to do what it does best: put people in a virtual immersive, multisensory, three-dimensional environment to distract them from their pain.


  • Hypnosis. This technique, which had previously been studied for its ability to reduce the pain associated with medical procedures, has also been found to be a highly effective approach to alleviate chronic pain, according to a review of 13 scientific studies. In fact, hypnosis was even better than physical therapy, according to researchers, who studied its use in treating the pain of arthritis, cancer, the lower-back, fibromyalgia and a variety of other chronic pain problems.