Millions of Americans deal with pain disorders, and many will turn to complementary health approaches to help manage them. The traditional treatment for musculoskeletal pain tends to be drugs and surgery, both of which carry risks. The use of opioids also carry their own risks of misuse, and overprescribing of these drugs in the U.S. has been linked to an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. Here are some natural, science-backed ways to treat pain:
Acupuncture: Around 3 million Americans have tried the traditional Chinese medicine procedure, and the NIH research found promising results for its safety and effectiveness for back pain.
Yoga: Many people practice it for exercise or as a form of spirituality. As TIME has previously reported, studies have also linked yoga to a lower risk for heart disease and fewer symptoms from depression, diabetes, and arthritis.
Massage Therapy: appears to work pretty well for neck pain. Some early research suggests it may improve quality of life for people with depression, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
Medical Marijuana:growing evidence suggests medical marijuana can have dramatic effects on pain management, even lowering the number of pain killer prescriptions in states where its legal