Pain. We’ve all experienced it one time or another. Some of us are bothered by the occasional pain – stubbing your toe, a bump or bruise, but over 50 millions of Americans suffer with pain all the time!
Pain is a sensation – a subjective phenomenon. You can’t see pain – you feel it! It is highly individualized with no way to exactly quantify its effect – ask two people with the same problem to rate their pain and you will get two different answers! Diagnostic tools, such as x-rays and MRI’s, help identify the possible culprits, but are unable distinguish the amount of pain.
Acute pain or pain that occurs suddenly, is a sign of a problem or injury and should be evaluated by a medical professional. It is usually short-lived and treatment involves the removal or healing of the underlying causes and the use of analgesics.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, is much more complicated. It is pain persisting more than 6 months. It is usually accompanied by sleep disturbances, decreased appetite or loss of taste for food, weight fluctuations, diminished libido and depression.
More than half of chronic pain sufferers report adverse effects in their daily lives, including their ability to work! People in constant pain demonstrate decreased productivity, which may impede the opportunity for career advancement – many cannot even manage to put in a full day’s work!
Roughly Ã?Â¾ of these sufferers also say their pain affects their ability to engage in a regular fitness routine. And many report feelings of increased irritability or stress with a general decrease in motivation.
The long list of complications accompanying chronic pain only perpetuates a vicious cycle of debility. Take stress, for example. Stress impedes on the body’s ability to heal. Daily pain can cause increased stress levels – and more stress decreases pain tolerance! This may be the reason so many chronic pain sufferers fail to respond to traditional treatments.
Pain used to be considered a symptom – even a natural part of aging; therefore, most pain goes under-treated, improperly treated or possibly untreated. Even so, people are constantly seeking methods to reduce pain. Over 50% have tried prescription medications or an over-the-counter solution. But over 85% have experienced some type of side effect, like drowsiness or upset stomach, which prompts them to stop the medication.
So what can you do? The first step is to be honest! Pain is not a weakness – it is very real! Acceptance is the first step to healing! You must acknowledge and accept your limitations. Educate yourself on the specific condition causing you pain, including any treatment options. There is nothing wrong with seeking alternative methods. Just because an option strays from the norm does not mean it should be discounted!
Take magnet therapy, for example. Magnets are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative method to treat pain conditions. Many people have reported success in coping with headaches, muscle spasms, arthritis, repetitive use conditions, diabetic neuropathy, insomnia and back pain! And they are easy to use – just simply place the magnet on or near the sight of pain!
Magnet therapy dates back as far the days of Cleopatra (it is thought Cleopatra slept with magnets on her forehead to preserve her youth!). It is believed interaction between the body, the earth and other electromagnetic fields can cause physical and emotional changes in humans. Physical therapy uses electrical stimulation to decrease muscle spasms and pain. Accupuncture also use this theory to treat energy pathways.
It is believed magnet therapy may block pain by stimulating the nerve endings. It can create charged particles in the blood, thus producing heat and a dilation of the blood vessels to increase oxygen and nutrient supply throughout the body. Most scientific studies offer no solid evidence of the healing power of magnets, but a 1999 study performed by the American Journal for Pain Management showed magnetic insoles to be effective in reducing foot pain in diabetics. And yet, because of the body’s great power to self-heal, whether scientifically proven or not, many users rely on magnets for pain relief!
There are no known side effects from using magnet therapy. Magnets sold commercially are too small or too weak to penetrate beyond the surface of the skin. However, anyone with any type of medical device, such as a pacemaker, should consult their physician before attempting to self-treat. And care should be taken if pregnant, as effects on a fetus are unknown.
If allergic to metals, care must be taken to use products covered in a hypo-allergenic plastic. For best results, magnets should be used under the care of a qualified medical professional, such as a physician or licensed massage therapist/bodyworker. This will assure proper use and placement, as there are some areas not recommended for magnet placement, such as the main blood vessels in your neck.
Pain-relieving magnets are considered permanent and unipolar. In other words, they produce a steady magnetic field with the same poles in contact with your body. Placing the magnets on or near the affected area can speed healing by increasing circulation, thus increasing blood and nutrients to the area. It can alleviate pain by decreasing the sensation of pain.
Magnets can be used almost anywhere there is pain. Magnet wraps come in a variety of sizes from fingers, wrists, arms, shoulders, legs and heads! They even make magnets for dogs and horses! There are magnets that you can tape to your skin, wear as jewelry and use as inserts. There are even magnets for pillows and mattresses, commonly used to treat insomnia.
Pricing of magnets varies from around $25.00 for a small size to $100.00 for inserts, and $300.00 to $800.00 for mattresses. Treatment times depend on the severity of your pain. Magnets can be worn anywhere, anytime from a few minutes to several hours, with treatments recommended for several weeks.
Pain, whether physical or psychological, is a real problem that plagues millions everyday! And, anything that may diminish pain levels may be well worth the effort! If you’ve tried traditional methods – and even some nontraditional, magnet therapy may hold the answers you seek – less pain with virtually no side effect risks!