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Natural Ways to Cope with Chronic Pain

group of people stretching in a park

It’s week two of Pain Awareness Month, and we’re continuing our quest to help our patients understand their options should they experienced ongoing pain after injury or illness.

Last week, we introduced you to the issue and just how many millions of people suffer with this condition, along with a few of the methods we use to address this discomfort.

This week we are going to focus on movement and other natural ways to help with chronic pain.


We have all heard it, “A body in motion stays in motion”. There are studies that show how adding movement to your day can help with chronic pain. Gentle stretching, walking, and muscular contractions increase circulation, reduce muscle tightness, and help joint lubrication. A 2003 study in the Journal of Rheumatology found that 43 people with osteoarthritis who completed a 12-week tai chi program had considerably less pain and stiffness in their joints and more abdominal strength and better balance compared with those in a control group that did not do the exercises. Kathleen Sluka, professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science at the University of Iowa, who has published numerous studies regarding pain management states: “When pain gets chronic, people do less. Their muscles get weaker and their bodies get tighter, and they think about pain a lot more. Movement techniques help them relax, make them stronger and reduce stress levels, so maybe they can think about something other than pain for a bit.”


Not all stretching is the same. Some might feel good in the moment but can actually make your pain worse in the long run. Dr. Keeler can show you the proper stretch for your problem areas, including the neck and low back. The goal with stretching is to improve range of motion, lessen muscle stiffness and increase circulation. Stretching can improve posture which can lessen pain. Having your joints in proper alignment, decreases the risk of joints getting “stuck” and starting the pain cycle.

Meditation and Massage

Meditation or mindful breathing techniques have shown to help calm the autonomic nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body. Over time too much cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) can cause increased inflammation. Massage can help with improved circulation, ease inflammation, and aid your body’s natural healing process. Dr. Keeler can help you with mindful breathing during a treatment and can recommend a massage therapist for your needs.

Are you struggling with pain that medical doctors can’t explain or won’t address? We might be able to help. Contact our office and tell us more about what you’re going through.

We’ll be continuing the conversation next week both here on the blog and on our Facebook and talking about nutritional choices that can help. Be sure to join us there!

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