Pill-Free Pain Management

​Whether you are a recovering addict or someone who cares about one, you need to know that if you require pain relief during the treatment or when in remission, there are safe approaches available which do not entail reaching for a pill. Even for people without addictions, medication offers chronic pain sufferers temporary pain relief that doesn’t address the root cause. 
According Harvard Health, researchers and doctors studying pain have identified what they call the “gate control” theory. They determined that the dorsal horn is a part of the spinal cord which is vital in helping to alleviate pain. When the body produces a pain signal, the dorsal horn opens like a gate, sending a pain signal to the brain. But if it receives sensory signals simultaneously (from another part of the body), it closes so the brain doesn’t register the signal. 


Pain-relief techniques which can be used alone or in combination:

  • Acupuncture
    This Chinese practice for pain management is one of the oldest techniques. Technicians use tiny needles placed in specific points. 

  • Physical Therapy
    Physical therapy often proves more helpful for neck pain than drugs. So, why not use it to alleviate other types of pain? Repetitive strengthening motions stretch muscles and work joints to strengthen them while alleviating pain. Physical therapy works because it often treats the root of the pain rather than the associated symptoms. Water therapy may also be used. Physical therapists often teach patients how to incorporate such therapies at home.

  • Massage
    Various massage techniques do more than just relax muscles. Ranging from gentle to deep tissue massage, many find that the right combination eases chronic pain. 

  • Ice and Heat
    Applying ice or a cold pack to painful joints or swellings reduces blood flow which may interfere with pain messages otherwise sent to the brain. Heating inflamed areas also relaxes muscles and increases blood flow.

  • Therapy
    Cognitive- behavioral therapy involves managing thoughts and feelings. Doing so may also help alleviate the anxiety, stress, and depression associated with acute and chronic pain. Other available therapy options include biofeedback and hypnosis. 

  • TENS 
    Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), electrically stimulates the area with the pain through a small device attached to the skin. Electrical impulses stimulate the area and nerves, potentially reducing pain. 

  • Mild Exercise 
    Yoga and Tai Chi incorporate slow, deliberates movements. In yoga, breathing connects the body and mind, which not only alleviates stress but also improves fitness, sometimes reducing lower back pain. Tai Chi also includes deep breathing and stretching. Many find that it reduces pain. 

About MFI

​Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Life after COVID

When will life return to normal? The whole world is asking the same question, and for some it is creating a lot of anxiety. The last year of COVID was a year of dealing with so many unknowns.


Finding things to do in the summer is not as easy as most people think.

How to Stay Sober for Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is usually a difficult time for someone who has just completed rehabilitation for drug and/or alcohol addiction. For many families, holiday celebrations and festivities center around alcohol.

How Gratitude Can Aid Addiction Recovery

Did you know that November is National Gratitude Month? As Thanksgiving approaches, most of us realize that thankfulness should color the way we look at the world. But gratitude shouldn’t be relegated to November.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

At MFI, we rely on scientifically proven methods to help support clients at all 10 of our Riverside-area treatment facilities. And one, which is admittedly a mouthful, is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). But what is it and why does it work?

National Antidepressant Death Awareness Month

October is well-known for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everywhere you go, pink ribbons abound. But a lesser-known yet equally important observance, also held each October, is National Antidepressant Death Awareness Month.