When you’re frequently in pain – from arthritis, a bad back, an old injury, or any other reason – you probably have a cabinet full of medications.
So many, in fact, that sometimes you think it would be nice to be able to relieve pain without medications. Without having to swallow yet another pill, or keep a close schedule – or risk ending up in pain again.
But you've probably been convinced, time and time again, that this is impossible. That you have to relieve your pain with prescribed drugs.
That’s simply not true.
There are ways to relieve pain without medication. And in this article, we’re going to explore several of them.
The Best Ways to Relieve Pain without Medications
The first technique is through relaxation. Tension in your muscles can make any pain worse. Staying relaxed not only prevents making pain worse, but can actually relieve pain, as well. There are a few relaxation techniques that can help relieve pain.
The “Inhale-Tense Exhale-Release” Method
At first it may seem counterproductive to tense your muscles when you’re trying to relax, but it really is easier to get your muscles to relax completely if you deliberately tense them first.
Here’s how to do it…
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Make sure your body is supported so you can relax completely. Try to find somewhere that isn’t too noisy, or distracting.
Once you’re comfortable, take a deep breath in.
As you do so, tense up a muscle group, like your feet. Hold your breath, and keep the muscles in your feet tense for a second or two. Exhale, and release the tension in your feet.
Take another breath, and tense up the next group of muscles. Move up, or down your body one muscle group a time. If you’ve just tensed your feet, tense up your calves now.
Hold for a second or two, and release your breath and your muscles. Repeat this until you’ve tensed and released every muscle group in your body. Many people find this to be most effective starting at the feet and moving up, or the head and moving down.
How to Use Rhythmic Breathing to Relieve Pain
As with before, start in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Once you’re settled, take a slow breath in, then release a slow breath out. As you release your breath, let your body go limp.
Some people find it helpful to count to themselves “in, one, two, three…out, one, two, three…” in order to find and keep a steady rhythm.
Make sure not to breathe in too quickly – you don’t want to hyperventilate. And don’t breathe in too slowly – you don’t want to get out of breath.
Instead, find the rhythm that works best for you. If you feel a body part resisting relaxation, focus on relaxing it on your exhale until it finally goes limp. Then go back to focusing on your whole body.
Continue rhythmic breathing for up to 10 minutes. When it’s time to stop, count to 3, open your eyes, and resume breathing normally.
Massaging the Pain Away
The next technique is through massage. When it comes to relieving pain without medication – especially muscular or joint pain – massage can be a powerful tool.
Depending on where you hurt, you can do this yourself, you can have a friend or caregiver massage you, or you can see a massage therapist.
If you can reach your pain point, here’s how to do it…
Using your bare hands, rub the site of the pain in a steady, circular motion. Try a little lotion, talcum powder, or massage oil to keep from pulling too hard on your skin. Only use as much pressure as feels good. If a deep tissue massage is a relief, then use more pressure. If that’s too much pressure, use less. It’s about what feels good to you.
Also, massage can help you relax – and we've talked about how relaxation can help relieve pain!
“Distract” Your Mind, Feel the Pain Disappear
Next up is distraction. You may already be using this technique to relieve pain without medications and not even know it.
If you've ever turned on music, or a television show, to help you deal with pain – that’s distraction.
The key to distraction is to engage your mind on something unrelated to the pain. Movies, a crossword book, a logic puzzle. Anything that will have you thinking about and focused on something other than your pain.
Try listening to music and tapping out the rhythm, or even turning up the volume (within reason, of course), as an extra distraction.
Most people find distraction works best on sudden, short-term pain – pain that lasts 5-45 minutes. But don’t disregard it for longer term pain, either. As long as you’re comfortable, it’s working!
An Ancient Chinese Pain-Relieving Ritual
Of course, I’m talking about acupuncture. While you can’t do acupuncture yourself, it can be a worthwhile trip to help relieve pain without medications.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese ritual where sterilized needles are inserted into your skin at very specific points. These points are believed to control pain sensation.
It sounds scary, I know. But it’s completely painless – and can do wonders for relieving your pain.
A skilled acupuncturist will know where, and how deeply, to place each needle to relieve your particular pain.
When to Use Ice and Heat to Relieve Pain
Remember when your mother or grandmother would bring you an ice pack or a heated towel? That was temperature therapy, and it’s been relieving pain without medication for generations.
And it’s easy to know when to use which temperature.
For stiff joints, tight muscles, sprains – and other short-term injuries – heat works better. But for anything swollen, red, inflamed, or sharp, sudden pains, ice works to numb your pain and reduce swelling.
Often times, you can use a combination of ice and heat to numb the pain, reduce swelling, then ease it away. This works best when using ice or a cooling pack for about 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of heat.
Here’s a quick overview on how to use each:
Heat – use a heating pad, warming mitt, or microwave a damp towel for muscle pain. Heat helps relax the muscles, easing the tension, and relieving the pain. Be careful not to burn the skin, and only leave heat on for 20 minutes at a time.
Ice – this can be as simple as ice cubes in a baggie, or a bag of frozen vegetables. Be sure to wrap your ice pack in a towel or use it over your clothing so you don’t get your skin too cold. Use ice when the pain is sharp, or caused by inflammation. The ice will help soothe the inflammation, which will help ease the pain. As with heat, take the ice off after 20 minutes.
How to Get Lasting Relief in As Little As 45 Seconds
Both go to work within less than a minute, and provide relief lasting for hours. Both allow you to get the relief you need without taking another pill. Both use approved pain relieving active ingredients to knock out even your toughest pain.
And both work to distract your mind from the pain, while providing a nearly instant soothing sensation.
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So now you know how to relieve pain without medications. Try the methods above, and try topical pain relievers like Soothanol X2 and Arthritis Relief Cream.
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