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Can I Relieve Pain Without Medication?

Sep 01, 2023
Can I Relieve Pain Without Medication?
Pain, particularly when it’s chronic, can be difficult to treat with medication. There are side effects to manage and your body may resist the pain relieving effects of drugs after extended exposure. Can you relieve pain without medication?

Pain, particularly chronic pain, can be difficult to treat with medication. There are side effects to manage and your body may resist the pain relieving effects of drugs after extended exposure.

The pain management specialists at HealthyU Clinics can help you find drug-free alternatives to add to your personal pain plan. These can reduce or eliminate your dependence on analgesic drugs and the health burden that they carry. 

Every patient responds to pain management techniques in their own way. We’ve included an overview of common drug-free therapies that may help you. This is not a conclusive list, so when you’re ready to expand your pain management plan, schedule a personal consultation with us at any of our Arizona locations. 

Can I relieve pain without medication? 

The short answer is yes, you can. There are a wide range of pain management techniques that don’t depend on pharmaceutical solutions and these are therapies that patients and doctors alike turn to, particularly with the current concern about overuse of opioid medications. 

In the short term, drug-based pain relief remains a powerful and effective solution, such as after a traumatic injury or when you’re recovering from surgery. Increasingly, doctors turn away from medication whenever possible when your pain is ongoing. The risks include harmful side effects and drug dependence. 

While the effectiveness of any drug-free pain therapy depends both on your condition and its severity, most techniques can work alongside both drug-based and drug-free solutions to boost pain relieving effects. 

Consider the following therapies as a starting point for conversation when you meet with our pain management professionals. 

Physical and occupational therapy

Pain medications mask pain. While sometimes anti-inflammatory effects help you recover, most drugs are simply hiding the effects of pain from your brain. 

Physical and occupational often work toward improving your overall condition. While they may not heal the cause of your pain, they can alter the way your body works to shift loads away from pain generators. 

It’s also natural that, when you’re in pain, you tend toward rest rather than activity to avoid additional pain. In some cases, this is the best alternative in the early stages after an injury. When pain is chronic, though, continued inactivity begins to deteriorate your overall health. Physical therapy is a way back toward the benefits of moderate activity levels. 


You might be familiar with the pain-relieving benefits of acupuncture and its relative acupressure. These techniques help some patients find lower pain levels without drugs. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) interrupts the way nerves report pain. Radiofrequency ablation, nerve blocks, and spinal cord stimulators work in a similar way, along with other interventional radiology procedures.

Stress management

Without the brain, there would be no way to interpret nerve signals as pain. The brain also has stress reactions to pain. The chemistry of stress is great in the short term, but like drug-based pain relief, it’s not meant to do its job over a long period of time. 

You can manage stress, and therefore pain, through a wide range of techniques, including: 

  • Biofeedback
  • Controlled relaxation
  • Guided imagery
  • Distraction
  • Mediation
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

We may recommend surgery if no combination of other solutions create sufficient pain relief, but it’s usually a last resort alternative. 

Find out more with your pain management professional at HealthyU Clinics, with 10 locations in Arizona. Call or click to book an appointment with your preferred office. Pain doesn’t wait for you, so don’t wait on pain. Schedule your visit now.