Whether you want to avoid medication entirely or want something to add to your current pain management treatments, there are several non-medication methods you can try. Incorporating non-medication strategies is the easiest way to avoid potential drug interactions while gaining control over pain.


Depending on the type of yoga you try, there are several benefits. If you engage in more strenuous yoga, you can burn extra calories which can help combat weight gain if you chronic pain contributes to living a sedentary lifestyle. Start with yoga that is low-impact to prevent exacerbation of pain. Many forms of yoga can be performed with blocks or bands to help novices who may have limited range of motion. In general, yoga can help with stress relief and improve functional fitness through increased flexibility, stamina, and building strength. People with chronic pain related to musculoskeletal conditions may find regular yoga sessions can help strengthen joints, muscles, and soft tissues that support the joints. Start off with one session and see how you feel. Let your limitations, pain, and how you feel after the session dictate which modifications you need and how often you engage in yoga.


Acupuncture involves placing thin needles at certain points on the body. There are two schools of thought as to the reason acupuncture can be helpful for chronic pain. Traditional acupuncturists believe inserting needles into distinct points on the body can help balance energy and reduce pain. According to western medicine, the practice of acupuncture helps to stimulate natural painkillers in the body called endorphins. No matter which side you believe, acupuncture, such as from Acupuncture is My Life, has been helpful for many people who combat chronic pain and can be used alone or in combination with other treatment regimens.


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) typically required a prescription from your doctor for a TENS unit. Now, with many models available at retail, it is easier to try TENS in a less expensive and more accessible manner. The theory behind TENS is the device emits a buzzing or pulsating sensation that may help reduce pain by reaching the brain before the pain sensation. It may eliminate some mild pains or reduce moderate to severe pain. Most TENS units are available as a sticky patch that you place on the affected area. The patch is connected to a device that allows you to control the intensity of stimulation. Try the TENS unit on the lowest setting and work your way up. When the device is turned up too high, it may contribute to muscle spasms, which can be painful.

Chronic pain can be both debilitating and exhausting. It is important to try different pain relief strategies, even if you currently use pain medication. For some people, non-medication pain control used alone or in conjunction with medication can give them better control over their pain.