Get ready to be pain-free. Dr. Oz has consulted with pain experts around the country to bring you the latest, most innovative solutions for every pain that ails you from head to toe.
1. Best Solution for Back Pain: Gua Sha
Back pain is one of the top pains most Americans face. Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has been used to treat everything from fevers to digestive problems to back pain.
This treatment dates back 700 years and works by creating a vacuum that helps remove the body’s toxic debris, replacing it with fresh healthy blood. It involves scraping the surface of the skin to release myofascial tension and is a great way to relieve muscles that feel stuck or tight.
Traditionally gua sha is carried out with a Chinese ceramic soupspoon, but a more modern smooth-edged instrument can be used. During the treatment, you’ll experience a warming sensation. Red marks known as “sha” will appear and last for a couple of days or longer. Often you’ll only need one gua sha treatment to relieve back pain. To try gua sha, contact a medical acupuncturist or licensed acupuncturist.
2. Best Solutions For Migraines: Botox
Since the mid-‘90s, many people have turned to Botox (botulinum toxin) injections to smooth away lines and wrinkles and look younger. This potent muscle relaxer also has been shown to aid migraine pain. In the case of chronic migraines, Botox works by weakening muscles that contract, specifically those in the forehead and neck, subsequently relieving tension.
For migraines, Botox is injected directly into various muscles around the head and neck to reduce and prevent pain, including the temporalis muscles, which reside on the sides of the head. Botox takes about a week to work and its effects can last up to 2-3 months."
The main side effect of Botox is also its benefit – muscle weakness – so it’s important to have the exact muscle injected. Make sure to select an experienced physician. Talk to your primary care provider for a referral. Botox is FDA-approved to treat migraines, so many insurance companies cover this treatment.
3. Neck and Shoulder Pain: HVLA
Osteopathic practitioners are trained to use the musculoskeletal system as its own self-regulating tool for healing the body. They are trained to use their hands to actually find areas in the body holding tension. Like MDs, doctors of osteopathic medicine have full medical licenses.
Since not all causes of pain can be identified on an x-ray, osteopathic treatments can be very helpful.
The osteopathic treatment HVLA – high-velocity, low-amplitude articulation – aims to realign the spine so there’s less stress and tension on the muscles. In this treatment, the physician uses his or her hands to locate joints that are not moving with other joints. Similar to chiropractic manipulation, it’s a way of releasing tension and muscle knots.
4. Pain From Head to Toe: Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation can treat headaches, neck pain, back pain and foot pain. Radiofrequency ablation involves a radio wave that gets transmitted to the tip of a needle to create heat. This heat gently warms the affected nerve to reduce or eliminate pain.
During treatment, a probe is inserted under X-ray guidance and you’re placed under sedation for comfort. The procedure take about half an hour, can provide pain relief for up to a year, and is covered under most insurance. To try radiofrequency ablation, contact a board-certified fellowship trained pain physician.
Cheap Solutions to Ease Your Pain for Under $10
1. Helichrysum Oil
Derived from strawflower, this ancient remedy has been used for hundreds of years in Africa. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which are excellent at reducing muscle tension and anxiety. In addition, helichrysum is also very effective at treating wounds, bug bites, burns, joint pain and arthritis. Available at health food stores.
2. Hot/Cold Packs
Hot and cold packs are great tools for reducing pain, but you have to know how to use them properly.
When to Use Ice:
Use ice when you first experience an injury to reduce swelling and inflammation caused by torn capillaries or blood vessels.
When to Use Heat:
Use a heat pack after the acute stage of an injury has diminished and the swelling is gone. Heat is also a good way to prepare you for a physical activity. For instance, if you have chronic back pain and want to go to the gym for physical therapy, place heat on the affected area for 20 minutes, but no more since it can cause inflammation.
Hot and cold packs are available for about $5 at any health store or pharmacy.
3. Telephone Headset
Using a telephone headset helps reduce pain by alleviating postural stress that happens when you cradle your phone, a common habit that causes all kind of problems including neck pain, shoulder pain and even headaches. Available online or at electronics stores.
4. Herbal Plaster
Medicated herbal plaster contains menthol and methyl salicylate, both of which provide immediate cooling relief for any sort of spasm, swelling or pain. Available online or at health stores.