Pain relief beyond the pill bottle

When you’re in pain – whether it’s a dull ache or sharper sensation – nothing else seems to matter, especially if it holds you back from ‘moving’ through your day.

And if the pain is chronic, it can also govern your life, interfering with your daily activities and robbing you of your freedom – perhaps, even, without you realising it. That’s how much it can seemingly become a part of you.

In this way, many Australians suffering from pain reach for the pill bottle each day. While some need strong, prescription-only medicines, others make do with common over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen, Advil), diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren), paracetamol (e.g. Panadol, Panamax) and aspirin.

This makes pain big business. However, many medicines simply act as a bandaid, ‘covering up’ the symptoms momentarily. And since taking medicines means that they’d be circulating in your ‘entire system’, they do not target pain, carrying with them the risk of side effects.

While medicines can have their place, it’s their overuse and abuse that can lead you into trouble – such as addictive habits and unnecessary overload on your liver to process and eliminate chemicals. So why not try some of these more holistic and drug-free measures? You may find that some of these may also markedly abate your pain over the long term.

  • suitable exercises
  • heat/ice application
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • acupuncture
  • hypnosis
  • massage
  • physiotherapy
  • chiropractic care
  • hydrotherapy
  • counselling.


Clearly, not every suggestion will be right for you. It may depend on the type of pain-inducing condition you have. As such, you may need to take a try-it-and-see approach to find out what works, which could be more than one of the options mentioned above.

The key is not to give up hope and to persist with something long enough to see whether it gives you any relief.

Do you have any drug-free techniques for managing your pain? Why not share them with other members?

Learn more at Harvard Health Publications and WebMD.   

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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