Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the on-going crisis in opiate use and overdose in America. Opiates are known to be addictive, but doctors write enough prescriptions for them for every adult in the country to have a bottle. Deaths from opioid overdose continue to rise.

Many Americans who live in chronic pain are seeking out alternatives for relief from their agony. What is there that has solid research to support their effectiveness?


Traditional Chinese medicine has used needles to stimulate specific points beneath the skin to change the balance of “energy” and bring relief from pain and other symptoms of illness for over two thousand years. Acupuncture is believed to work through stimulating nerve reflexes which relay signals to the brain to release pain-reducing hormones like beta-endorphin.

Research has documented that acupuncture can reduce markers associated with inflammation and pain as well as stimulate nerve growth factor that promotes nerve regeneration.No fewer than 29 studies in peer-reviewed journals have documented pain relief through acupuncture by at least 50 percent.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is very popular for pain relief. Different forms and application of massage are often used to enhance rehabilitation from injury and avoid the development of chronic pain later on. Relaxation massage can aid in the reduction of pain by reducing tension, a factor known to aggravate pain.

The efficacy of massage is supported by many studies. It is most effective for low back pain, whether acute or chronic. Osteopathic Manual Treatment (OMT) is particularly well documented in this area. (OMT is delivered only by osteopathic physicians and not by massage therapists.) Massage is also effective in the treatment of shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, and mixed chronic pain.


Chiropractic treatment involves spinal manipulation to relieve what the profession terms “subluxations,” minor displacements of the vertebrae that impinge upon the spinal nerves. Relieving subluxations results in reduction of back pain, neck pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, and joint pain.

Although the chiropractic “adjustment” is the basis of chiropractic treatment, many chiropractors will use manipulation to improve joint mobility and help heal injured tissue. They may also employ exercise and education in posture along with physical therapy modalities (depending upon the laws of the state in which they are licensed) such as ultrasound, laser therapy, hot and cold packs, and electrotherapy.

How effective is chiropractic therapy? A number of studies support the efficacy of chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of chronic and acute pain, headaches, and neck pain. More than 30 million people receive chiropractic treatments every year.


In this well-known therapy method, a licensed hypnotherapist guides the patient into a relaxed and highly focused mental state, during which the patient is given suggestions for relaxation and comfort. They are often conditioned to be able to reproduce that state later by themselves when they feel the need.

Hypnosis has been shown to be significantly effective in the treatment of chronic pain in some cases up to three months. Thirteen controlled studies verified that it is effective for use in low back pain, arthritis, cancer pain and chronic pain from disability. One study of hypnosis for fibromyalgia patients not only showed substantial reduction of pain but improvements in fatigue and sleep as well.


Medical marijuana has recently surfaced as a legal and effective alternative to opiates in the medical treatment of pain. In increasing numbers, states are passing laws allowing its use for pain, headaches, nausea, seizures, and Crohn’s disease.

Marijuana contains hundreds of compounds in addition to THC, the most widely researched. Recent work suggests that CBD (cannabidiol) may be more responsible the relief of pain as well as being free from the psychogenic effects perceived as the “high” or “being stoned.”

Also Kratom Capsules appears to be a safe treatment for chronic pain. At least half a dozen recent double-blind studies have shown cannabis effective in chronic pain and neuropathic pain.

Author's Bio: 

Narendra Sharma is a freelancer writer, entrepreneur and content marketer. You can follow him at twitter @logicseo