Non-pharmacological methods

Various non-pharmacological methods are used successfully in some patients suffering with chronic pain; these include:

*Physical therapy, exercises, muscle strengthening exercises, core muscle strength exercises: these have an important part and works together with other interventions. Giving pain relief can help patients do these exercises which will help in long-term recovery.

*TENS machine therapy: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine delivers electric energy in small pulses through sticky pads to painful area. It operates by battery. It is easy to use and works on Gate control theory.

The tingling sensation provided by this machine closes the 'gate' at the spinal cord level and diminishes pain. Side effects like allergy to pads are rare. 

*Acupuncture therapy: Acupuncture is a simple technique which can help a variety of painful conditions. Very thin needles are inserted at specific points correlating to meridians. Side effects are rare, though flare-up of pain can occur. There is good evidence that this procedure can increase the endorphin levels in blood, which help in pain control. 

*Pain can also be relieved by hot or cold massage. A hot water bottle or ice pack wrapped in a towel can help if done in a sensible way for 10-15 minutes.