Tag Archives: alternative treatment

Chronic Pain Management (Part 2)

When you struggle with lifelong pain, be it as a result of one or more types of arthritis, leftover trauma from an accident, a damaged or slipped disk, fibromyalgia or for any other reason, you have no choice but to learn to cope. But fortunately, there are many non-pharmacological ways to supplement medication to help ease the pain and better your quality of life. We looked at massage, mentally guided relaxation and stress management last time. Some other tactics include:

  1. Stretching and Exercise

Even though it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you are in pain, mild routine exercise is actually one of the best things for chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Gentle movement such as yoga, walking or swimming can help reduce chronic pain by encouraging blood flow to the damaged areas, increasing circulation and strengthening the muscles surrounding the troubled joints. Stretching is also an excellent way to strengthen the effected areas, increase motility and flexibility and subsequently help reduce pain over time. Doing too much exercise or the wrong kind can negatively impact your condition, therefor be sure to check with your doctor (or one of our qualified DocChat physicians) before beginning an exercise regimen to ensure it won’t be damaging to your condition.

  1. Personal Pain Management Devices

Another tool that may help some reduce the effects of chronic pain is a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine. Physiotherapists frequently use TENS machines to help with such conditions as tendonitis, bursitis, and certain types of arthritis. TENS machines work by sending electrical currents of varying degrees of intensity into the afflicted area via electrodes. The idea is that the nerves in the area are stimulated enough that it can scramble the brain’s overactive pain signals and stimulate the area of the brain that releases natural painkilling neurochemicals like oxytocin instead. While the empirical effectiveness of TENS machines as a pain reliever hasn’t yet been conclusively backed up, there are ongoing studies looking into it as well as millions of people who respond positively to the treatment. If you get the chance to try TENS machines in physiotherapy, it is well a try as they can be excellent for many people. Should you enjoy the experience, you can invest in portable personal TENS machine units to use whenever and wherever you may need it.

  1. Trigger Point and Corticosteroid Injections

Trigger point injections consist of a doctor injecting your problem area with a tiny needle containing either anesthetic, a saline solution or a long-acting corticosteroid. In some cases, a ‘dry needle’ is inserted which can deactivate the trigger point which may alleviate some pain. In the case of corticosteroids such as methyl prednisone, the steroid can bring down pain and inflammation in the area for weeks, months or even longer in some cases. It can be a highly effective non-opiate form of chronic pain management for some people.

Keep an eye out for Chronic Pain Management (Part 3) in the future! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you return again soon.










Can Coffee Help Asthma?

In short, yes, drinking enough coffee can help ease some of the symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and coughing because it contains caffeine, which acts like a bronchodilator. Specifically, caffeine mimics the effects of an older asthma medication called theophylline, which relieves breathlessness and wheezing by opening the airways.

Don’t Switch Your Meds For Perk

Studies have shown that drinking 2-3 highly caffeinated beverages such as coffee (coffee and tea are among the most caffeinated, followed by certain sodas) may help alleviate some asthma symptoms for even up to hours after initial onset. However, others argue you’d need too much coffee to see a significant benefit. Furthermore, coffee is not as effective as actual asthma medications so people certainly shouldn’t be putting down their puffers in place of a cup of joe. In an emergency where a asthmatic has no access to puffers, 2-3 cups of coffee could potentially help keep the stabilize their condition until emergency care is in place, but this isn’t foolproof. Some medical professionals do suggest a couple cups a day as preventative asthma care. Besides, most current asthmatic puffers work better and for longer than theophylline (with fewer side effects), so while coffee would be an okay substitute in a pinch, the effects may pale in comparison to today’s emergency asthma medications.

Can Coffee Interfere With Lung Function Tests?

Quality clinical trials have been conducted to look into just how closely caffeine mimics the effects of asthma medications, specifically when it comes to lung function tests. Many of these studies have shown that drinking certain amounts of coffee can actually sway a lung function test, making the person perform better than if they would have without the coffee. So the benefits may not be enough to stop an attack mid-wheeze, but there must be some merit to the coffee cure if asthmatics should avoid caffeine before performing a respiratory test!

Coffee Beans And Scents

There is little to no empirical research to back up this next claim, but many homeopathic and some medical professionals have suggested sniffing coffee beans for asthmatics who react very badly to scents. Taking a little baggie full of fresh coffee beans in public and having a little sniff could potentially block some scents from effecting you quite as adversely as without the blockers. Is there any truth to it? It is hard to say, but consider this: coffee beans have long been used to neutralize the nostrils between perfume testings, so why wouldn’t they be effective for blocking scents you may breeze by while shopping? Anything is worth a try even if it helps that tiny little bit.

The Bottom Line

So it seems having a few cups of coffee during a bout of wheezes can have a moderate bronchodilation effect, but it shouldn’t be something you rely on too heavily, and you certainly shouldn’t be replacing any puffers with coffee. However, it is good information to know and could indeed help someone in an emergency who doesn’t have access to medication and a couple cups of black coffee a day may well provide some day-to-day asthma relief. Just to note, a much more effective alternative medication for asthma attacks which many people unfortunately don’t know about is an adrenaline autoinjector. EpiPens may be for allergies, but they can save the life of an asthmatic having a serious attack just as effectively.

Thanks for reading! We hope you visit DocChat again soon!