Kathe and Les talk about Alternative Treatments for PainThis is the last episode of our 4-part series where we talk about the ConsumerReports.org article on, Real Pain Relief, Now! In our first episode, we have talked about How Pain Affects People. The second part talked about the Therapies that Ease Pain while the third episode dwells into the Different Pain Medications. Here on our last episode, we will discuss the alternative treatments for pain and why steroids and surgeries can help.


Pain is the body's mechanism to protect yourself from harm. It acts as a signal to our body that harm is about to happen to tissues in our bodies. It is well known to everybody and yet it is so compounded and subjective that it cannot be easily treated. There is also the emotional component when it comes to pain and that is called suffering.

Alternative Treatments for Pain

There are therapies that will help you ease pain, there are also medications for your pain but if these remedies don't work for you there are other alternatives such as steroids and surgeries.

I have known people who have done both steroids and surgeries and it does provide relief for them, that is why they are also good alternative treatments for pain. But the article still states that “You can’t overuse steroids.” The consumer reports article also talked about when this particular gentleman went to go see a surgeon, the surgeon said that this gentleman got to have surgery. Luckily, they went and got a second opinion and wound up they didn’t really need the surgery.


In surgery, you always have to have a second opinion. More people are seeking second opinions in orthopedic surgery than any other specialty. They want to make sure that those alternative treatments for pain are their only hope. The body has the capability to heal itself over time and that is why you don’t need to add surgery to heal the problem. Doctors these days get paid for doing what they normally do and that’s surgery must get paid for the surgery. We know somebody who had surgery and he wound up with MRSA. Now, he has a lifetime problem.

That is why, in any case, it just says that you should always try to get a second opinion when you have chronic pain and see if you can avoid having surgery. But sometimes surgery is what you really need. Anytime you go under the anesthesia, anytime you go to the hospital, you run the risk of having complications.

Stress and Pain

Stress can definitely cause pain. When I get my shoulder pain it’s usually because I’m under a lot of stress. It causes inflammation and the inflammation causes pain. Les has the same issue. If he’s under a lot of pressure, his neck will hurt.


Another alternative treatment for pain is steroids. Before you get surgery, a lot of people will get cortisone shots. Those people had great relief from cortisone but after a while, it stops working.

Steroid injections. When going through chemo they give you steroids right at the beginning of the treatment. But in Les’ case their not giving him shots, they’re just giving him pills so that he could keep up with his energy. From a positive standpoint, it did help him have more energy and overcome what could have been a lot worse from the chemo. With direct injections of steroids, it depends on where the injection goes. You could also actually cause a person to die if you're putting it in the wrong space in your back. It’s much safer to put it in your buttocks.

Those people that have chronic pain and had shots of pain relievers can’t really function between shots. Also, more than 2 or 3 shots a year can cause joint cartilage damage.

Arthroscopic Repair

Arthroscopic repair of the knee to repair cartilage is one of the most common surgeries but apparently, it’s ineffective when it comes to pain. Studies have shown that they don’t Alternative Treatments for Painimprove symptoms any better than physical therapy but sometimes it does like hip surgery. Exercise or physical therapy work as well or better than surgery for minor rotator cuff injuries and low back pain. Surgery may speed recovery from a slipped disk or spinal stenosis, but those using non-invasive therapies for at least 2 years felt better just as well.

The moral of the pain story is that number 1, everybody’s pain is personal. Two, multiple therapies work better than just one. Three, if it gets bad enough depending on the type of pain and when you're having your pain, surgery may help. Also, physical therapy is more important, especially as you get older. The final decision of there alternative therapies for pain rests with you, so you have to make sure that you understand all your options when it comes to pain relief.

Mentioned in this Episode:

ConsumerReports.org – Real Pain Relief, Now!

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