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The Most Effective Pain Relief Therapies of 2020

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It is estimated that about 10% of the worlds’ population suffers from some sort of chronic pain. Therefore, addressing pain is a very important issue in the healthcare industry.

There have been many developments made in the chronic pain relief field especially in the past two decades. Some have had a higher rate of success than others.

The following are some of the most effective pain relief therapies as of 2020:

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are creams, pastes, ointments, balms, and oils that you apply to the skin. They will still have an effect on the pain inside the body.

Topical creams and other treatments have been used to relieve pain for decades now. However, with more research in the field, there are now very effective topical treatments as of 2020.

The benefit of topical treatments is that they are easy to use and are non-invasive. On the other hand, they are great for instant pain relief but not over the long term.

Pain medication

Another pain relief method that continues to be effective and popular in 2020 is pain medication. There are many types of pain medication that can be easily acquired over the counter hence their prevalence.

Pain medication is often consumed orally but it can also be taken intravenously in some cases. We are mainly concerned with oral drugs as they are the most common.

Pain medication has serious side effects which is a serious concern for those using them for pain relief. Moreover, they are only an effective short term pain relief strategy as they can lead to addiction in the long term. 

Physical therapy

The vast majority of people only think of paying a physiotherapist a visit when they suffer from a devastating injury or accident. However, physical therapists can do a lot more that help restore motion including pain relief.

Stretching in particular is an activity in physical therapy that helps to alleviate much of the pain. It helps improve nerve function because damaged nerves can be a source of tremendous pain in the body.

Physical therapy will also eliminate the pain that originates from movement. Therefore, you can move better while being in less pain making it a very effective pain relief therapy in 2020.


Acupuncture is one of the oldest pain relief therapies in the world. However, it is still relevant in 2020 due to its effectiveness.

With more research into the body particularly about energy and nerve points, acupuncture has developed substantially in the past few decades. It can now be used to treat pain with the utmost accuracy.

Acupuncture can be used to treat pain throughout the entire body which is a great advantage over pain relief therapies for a single body part. It also has much less long-term risk than other therapies like pain medication. 

Myofascial Release Massage Therapy

Massage is a type of therapy that has also been long used for pain relief. However, we are specifically talking about a type of massage therapy known as myofascial release massage.

It is not the typical massage therapy that is focused on relaxation. Myofascial release massage therapy is a type of massage that is hands-on and is focused on the restrictions in certain connective tissues that make it harder and more painful to move than usual.

The new form of massage therapy is a great long-term solution for chronic pain as it uses the body’s natural pain relief mechanisms. It is also a more comprehensive approach than many of the other pain relief therapies available in 2020

Electrotherapy Devices

Technology has played a significant part in the development of new pain relief therapies over the past few decades. It has led to the development of some of the most effective pain relief methods ever created.

There are many types of electrotherapy devices with Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and microcurrent nerve stimulation (MENS) being the most common. They use low voltage devices to generate an electrical current that stimulates pain relief.

Some electrotherapy devices are external meaning that you place them on a body part but they relieve the pain within the body. Others are implanted devices that aim to relieve pain from inside the body as well.

The electrical stimulation of the body for pain relief works in a myriad of ways. In some, it may involve blocking nerves from transmitting pain and in others, it may completely change how you perceive pain. Regardless, they are effective pain relief methods.


Surgery is often the therapy of last resort as far as pain relief is concerned. It will often be implemented after other methods have completely failed. 

Surgery for pain relief typically happens when the cause of the pain has to be rectified surgically from within. Only by removing a growth in the body for example can the pain be truly relieved.

Surgery is also used to relieve pain in cases where you have a damaged or tweaked body part for example a torn tendon. The surgery will ensure corrective action is taken and that the pain is gone once the body part heals.

Medicinal marijuana

Finally, a pain relief therapy that deserves a special mention on this list. Medical marijuana is great pain relief and continues to be so in 2020.

The greatest part about using medicinal marijuana for pain relief is that there are so many ways to use it. You can apply it as a balm, an oil, drink it, or even smoke it and you will get the benefits.

Due to the lack of research in the area, the benefits of marijuana for pain relief are only just being discovered. With more research into the field in the future, more uses for medical marijuana will be discovered as it relates to pain relief. 


There are many therapies in use today that are effective in relieving pain. The degree of their effectiveness will vary depending on many factors.

The therapies above are a combination of traditional therapies and modern ones. If you are to get the most pain relief, then a combination will be the ideal solution.

Therefore, if you suffer from chronic pain, feel free to try any of the therapies above.

Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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