Living with Chronic Illness – Alternative Pain Relief Options

This is a sponsored article with Pathways

Having a chronic illness and finding effective pain relief can be hit and miss

What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Not only that but you might also find that you don’t tolerate certain pain relief. 

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease back in 2012. Prior to that I thought I had IBS as that’s what I was told by my GPs. I used to treat pain with over the counter painkillers, paracetamol and ibuprofen and IBS remedies.

Even after my diagnosis I wasn’t aware that Ibuprofen is a bit of a no-no for Crohn’s sufferers until much more recently.

pain relief

Pain can feel like a trap

After my first operation, a bowel resection, I found out I have a low tolerance for opiate pain relief

In fact I can’t even tolerate co-codomol.

Following operations obviously I HAVE to take pain relief. I have had several operations in recent years. Including laparotomies and operations to treat an anal fistula. Having to have an open wound packed on nothing but paracetamol was no fun so I resorted to oramorph. However, Oramorph makes me dizzy and I hallucinate – at one point I thought the wallpaper was moving and could see woodland creatures in my room!

I thought I found a different pain relief, Bupronorphen, that worked for me but after taking it a few days it also makes me dizzy. I must have a sensitive disposition because anything stronger than paracetamol pretty much renders me incapable. Obviously this is not ideal having two young children to look after so I have to look for alternatives:

Alternative pain relief options that don’t have side effects:

Hypnosis for pain relief: 

Hypnosis works on many levels for a lot of people. From dieting to quitting smoking. You can go to a hypnotist, read a book in the comfort of your own home or there are even apps to use

Yoga for pain relief:

Yoga exercise is good if you are actually able to do it, it focuses your mind and relaxes you as well as being exercise andmeditation. Any exercise is good for the mind too

Music therapy for pain relief:

According to Everyday Health 

Music therapy works in chronic pain management by providing sensory stimulation that evokes a response in the patient.

I think we can all agree that music evokes a lot of emotions and can take you back in time. Using music you can take the focus away from pain

Pathways App for pain relief:

The science behind Pathways is that sufferers of chronic pain of three months or more can be due to our pain systems becoming overactive. As they describe:

The pain experience can start coming on automatically, even without damage to your body. It’s then up to us to retrain our pain system.

Pathways works to help you understand your pain and to then break any behaviour associated in keeping hold of the pain. That is not to say the pain is in your head but it can help you take control

massage for pain relief

Massage for pain relief:

Massage works in several ways, do not only sooth aching muscles but also to relax mind and body thus helping pain.

Acupuncture for pain relief:

Acupuncture has been used for many years for pain relief, in fact it has been used as a Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 3,500 years!

According to Practical Pain Management

It works by applying needles, heat, and pressure to specific points on the body. The theory is that invigorating these points releases or redirects the body’s natural energy known as chi or qi because illness and pain come from blockages or imbalances of this vital life force.

Which alternative Pain Relief have you tried? What has worked for you?

You can read more about my story here: Living with Crohn’s Disease 



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