Once chronic pain gets a grip on you, it rarely lets go.

We’re not going to pretend for a second that it’s easy to deal with. ‘Chronic’ means that the pain can last for weeks, months, or even years. Some chronic pain conditions never truly disappear.

With the right pain management techniques, however, you can help your symptoms to subside.

This makes your pain more bearable, allowing you to enjoy a better quality of life.

But how do you do it?

What Are Pain Management Techniques?

The point of pain management techniques is not to cure, but to alleviate the symptoms of, chronic pain.

Some therapies are invasive, such as injections of steroids or anesthetics to the affected area.

Some are non-invasive, such as applying alternate hot and cold materials to the area instead.

Both can be effective, as can some ‘imagery’ exercises which shift your mental focus away from the pain. But they’re all geared towards one thing – relieving pain in the short term, to aid recovery in the longer term.

1. Exercising for Recovery

One common pain management technique is exercise.

This sounds counter-intuitive, but chronic pain can actually benefit from exercise. Many underlying conditions which are the source of chronic pain can reduce mobility.

By keeping moving, you keep the painful symptoms of your condition at bay. Of course, you should know your limits and never overdo it. You don’t want to make yourself worse!

Exercise also has a positive impact on mental health. Chronic pain, meanwhile, is associated with a negative effect on people’s mental state.

Exercise can help to strike a new balance for your mood, and help your mental health as much as your physical health.

2. Physical Therapy

As well as exercising on your own, physical therapy with an expert therapist can aid your recovery.

Organisations like TurningPoint Medical Group are dedicated to helping people with chronic pain manage their symptoms and hopefully make a full recovery.

Therapists help patients, through exercise therapy and mechanically positioning your muscles.

This pain management technique helps them move through what were previously uncomfortable motions.

This is a key pain management technique – and if you’re suffering for more than a week, you should definitely look up a PT in your area.

3. Medical Marijuana

If you’re in many states where medical marijuana is available, you can get hold of it if you’re a chronic pain sufferer.

You should check your local laws to see if this is true for your state.

It can be very useful for treating chronic pain. However, the problem with marijuana is that it doesn’t necessarily help to treat your underlying condition.

So you may still be injured just as badly, you just can’t feel it. Your condition may not improve without other intervention, so it’s not wise to only rely on the effects of marijuana to numb the pain.

4. Mind-Body Techniques

Some pain management techniques take a ‘mind over matter’ approach.

Yes, you are in pain. But instead of focusing on the pain, you learn to disassociate from it. Or, you imagine a sensation in another limb to distract you from your discomfort.

This sounds like a lot of hocus-pocus, but some patients have great success with it.

Of course, it’s still best used in conjunction with other techniques. But if it can at least take your mind off the pain, to help you relax and sleep, why not try it?

There are also several breathing and relaxation exercises which some chronic pain sufferers find to be helpful. Give these a go and see if they help to ease your pain.

5. Music Therapy

It may just be a distraction factor, but music has been shown to help some mothers give birth.

Music can help to lift your spirits and make your mood more positive. Choose your tracks wisely though – no sad songs!

Definitely one of the less scientific suggestions on this list, but if it works, it works.

6. Yoga

Yoga can help to improve mobility and flexibility.

This is crucial as a pain management technique for many chronic pain conditions. Keeping active is vital.

Yoga is an ideal activity to pick up, as it’s a low-intensity and low-impact workout but encourages a wide range of movement.

Yoga also helps to strengthen your core muscles, which not only aids your body to recover, but also helps to prevent further injuries in the future.

7. Painkillers

Painkillers are a very commonplace pain management technique.

You might self-medicate with ibuprofen to reduce swelling, or in more serious cases your doctor might prescribe you something stronger, such as an opiate.

Always stick to the dosages you’re told by the packaging and your doctor.

Painkillers are great for short-term relief, and they can help to tackle symptoms such as inflammation. However, they’re again best used in combination with light exercise, and professional help for your recovery.

You don’t want to rely on them, as they just cover up the pain. Some people will use painkillers, feel fine, and start vigorous exercise.

While they can’t feel the pain at that time, they may be making things worse. Never just rely on pills for your recovery.

We Hope You Make a Full Recovery

We hope that anyone reading this finds these pain management techniques helpful, and makes a full recovery in the near future.

Just don’t over-exert yourself in the meantime, and take it a step at a time.

If you’re looking for more tips on health and fitness, check out our other posts on the subject.

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These Are The Most Unusual Ways to Work Smarter Instead of Harder 2 - Florida Independent
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These Are The Most Unusual Ways to Work Smarter Instead of Harder

Millions of people work really hard. Everyday. But there is always a better or smarter way to accomplish the same things you have to do every week. And you probably have a productive routine that works for you. Most people do. You can still improve it though.

These are two of the most upvoted answers to this question on Quora: What are some uncommon ways to work smarter instead of harder? These ideas have worked for the productivity experts.

Answer by Nela Canovic, productivity hacker, writer, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur

Do your deep work (the hard stuff, the work that requires the most concentration) EARLY.

When exactly?

Many scientists say that the brain’s peak performance happens 2-4 hours after we wake up. If, for example, you wake up at 6, your peak times are between 8 and 10  a.m.

What are the benefits?

Doing your deep work early in the day allows your brain to focus fully on the problem at hand, with fewer distractions, less inputs from your environment, and with a lot of  energy that you’ve gained from a restful night. It’s the exact opposite of what can happen if you leave your hardest work for nighttime, after you’re done with all your daily activities and you are exhausted from the day.

How can I get into this habit?

1. For one week, keep a log of what you do during your peak times. Are you focusing on your important mental tasks? Are you learning new material, solving complex problems, reading, or writing? For most people, this time is usually spent commuting to work, checking email, making phone calls, watching or listening to the news.

2. Re-prioritize your peak brain performance time. Think of ways you could rearrange the things you do early that are less important to your personal and professional development. Like to stay on top of the latest news? Save this activity for your lunch break or right after lunch.

Emails are waiting in your inbox? Be careful of how much time checking email takes; it can seriously impact your day. Choose 2 blocks of time to go over your emails, one mid-afternoon and one closer to the end of your workday. It’s better to be proactive early (by doing your important work) and reactive later (responding to questions, providing input on discussions, etc.).

3. Create more space and time to your day by implementing a morning routine that can help you be productive. The benefit of a morning routine is that you jump start your day; you complete several tasks before moving on to work, school, or other responsibilities; you are more productive with your time; you feel more successful in what you do. I wrote a few ideas on developing a morning routine here.

Answer by Akash Sehrawat, Practices Kaizen ( act of continuous improvement ) daily

Here are 17 uncommon ways to work smarter instead of harder.

1) Find your passion: Life becomes much easier in the long run.

Sure, when you start out there will be doubts! No one will believe in what you are doing, but you need to keep moving no matter how much criticism you face!

All this doesn’t matter. What TRULY matter is the believe in yourself. Related post: Akash Sehrawat’s answer to How do you know if you’ve discovered your passion?

2) Passion is not enough. Find a purpose: Doing something which you are passionate is good. But is selfish. Nothing wrong with that. Now take a step forward and find a purpose.

For example: I am passionate about building muscle and becoming healthier. Good. Purpose: My mission is to help a million skinny guys gain muscle, and be healthy. Great!

3) Once you find your passion, and a purpose, Profits will come:

Passion: Baba Ramdev is passionate about Yog and Ayurveda.

Purpose: He propagated Yog on TV, through books and DVD and now through his company Patanjali he is providing natural ayurvedic products at reasonable prices! Patanjali’s Predicted Revenues by March 2017= INR 10,000 Crores.

Profits will come eventually. Just focus on helping lot of people.

4) Create, Consume, Communicate, in this order: Creating is the highest form of intelligence.

Here are few things you can create:

-A life that you want.

-Write a blog post on things that you are passionate about.

-Paint.

-Create a company.

-Create Products and Services that will make people’s life easier and so on and so forth.

Consume: While you are reading this article you are consuming. Reading fiction, non fiction, watching TV, etc are all forms of consuming.

Firstly, majority of us consume too much, just too much. But librarians are not smart or rich!

Idea is to consume the right stuff. It is to consume something which will help you reach towards your goals.

Consume biographies, consume awesome posts by great bloggers.

Secondly we consume mostly entertainment and not educative stuff.

We love watching Cricket, our favourite comedy shows, and reality TV. These things provide immediate pleasure or gratification but don’t provide any long term value.

I am not asking you to cut out completely on entertainment, limit it to 10-20% of the things that you consume.

And Lastly communicate: God has given us 2 ears and one mouth. HE wants us to speak less and listen more. In this age of wats up and Facebook, there is too much noise and mindless chatter going on! Just too many opinions about anyone and everyone!

My advice: Talk less, listen more and do more:)

5) Do something important: Before venturing into Tesla, SpaceX Elon Musk knew his odds to succeed were very less.

To this one interviewer asked him why did he still went ahead with it? His answer: “Coz its important and is the right thing to do”

6) Measure how much time you waste everyday, and then aim to reduce it: Watching TV, gossiping over the phone, chilling with friends, late night-outs, spending excessive time on Facebook are all time wasters and usually don’t provide any educative value. First step is to become aware about how much you are actually wasting on these activities everyday, every week. Then aim to reduce by 10% and then by 20% and then move upto 50%.

Just imagine the awesome things you can do with these many hours saved: like spending more time with your family, starting a blog part time along side your job, devoting more time to your hobby and so on and so forth.

7) Walk and burn: Do yourself a favour and buy a fitness band.

And set the target to 10,000 steps daily. This will help you burn roughly 500 calories daily which is equivalent to 3500 calories in a week or 1 lbs of fat loss a week, or 4 lbs a month, or 48lbs a year (21.8kg). Most of you don’t even need to lose this much in the first place!

8) Lift heavy weights: Weight training is concentrated work! Working out just few hours a week can provide you with immense benefits. Learn more.

9) Wake up early: Sure some people do their best work between 11pm to 3am. I was one of them long time back, until I become a morning person. I realised I am much more alert working early mornings. Usually after an undisturbed night sleep I can really focus and focus hard.

Whereas working at night was always erratic. Usually something or the other used to come up. Friends birthdays, family get togethers, movie etc. Majority of people in this world are asleep from 5am to 7am. You can do your best work at this time.

10) Build a routine that works for you: Will power is not enough. You plan 10 things the night before. You are all charged up and promise yourself that you will accomplish all the things in the list. What happens the next day? You snoozed and as a result you lost few hours of your precious time. You start to feel guilty and the whole day spirals downwards!

Don’t feel like writing, sit down, open your Mac and start typing. A rough draft is better than an empty page

Don’t feel like going to the gym. Stop your thinking, wear your shoes and just go. Once you are at the gym, you’ll be glad you came.

Successful people build routines, and not will power.

11) Start a stop watch before every task: Oh this one really works! When I know the clock is ticking, I am way more focussed.

12) Divide your day into small chunks: I don’t enjoy F1 races much! But what I have learned by watching is that the team who wins is the team who takes timely strategic pit stops! In the long run what really matters is that you have the right amount of fuel in the gas tank, your tires are not worn out too much etc.

The same can be applied to your work. I personally can focus intensely for 25 to 30 minutes. After which my mind and my body asks for break. Usually when I am excited or with my team I override that signal and make myself a cup of coffee and keep working! Not wise! After sometime my body starts to release stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline etc. This makes me anxious and jittery!

In order to work smarter, what I can do is to take a break after a period of intense work:

  • The break should be no more 5 to 10 minutes after 25 min of work
  • and 15 to 20 minutes is ok if you work for 45 to 50 minutes
  • During the break don’t check Facebook or chat with your friends.
  • Instead do these things: Go for a walk and take deep breathes simultaneously
  • Mediate
  • Listen to great music
  • Take a power nap

There’s an app for that: iOS – Be Focused by Denys Yevenkoy

Android – ClearFocus by ClearApps.xyz

13) First things first: Now, I am of the notion that if it has to happen, it has to happen FIRST. You see we have limited will power. Roy Baumeister’s experiment proves this fact.

If you complete all your important task before noon ( exercise being at the top of the list ) , chances are very high that they will get done!

14) Do Less: Less is more. Less is productive. 20% of the things you do will give you 80% of the results. Those 20% of thing are hard to do. Usually we try to avoid them! And choose to stay in our comfort zone. Majority of us are busy, but not productive.

15) Keep asking this important question: Is this the best use of my time? If the answer is “No”, then probably it is. Re-assess and stratagize. Figure what are things that you should be doing instead.

16) Plan Plan Plan: Abraham Lincoln said: ” If I have nine hours to chop a tree, I would sharpen my axe for 6 hours and cut the tree for 3 hours! Always plan the next day the night before! This habit has helped me saved me tons of time! Plan every hour , every minute. Its ok if things don’t go according to your plan. Just improvise:)

17) Reserve Sundays for Weekly Planning: Measure, analyse, progress. How can you improve on something that you don’t know? Keep a document detailing how you spending every hour of the day! I know it may seem like a big task initially, but over time, it builds into a solid habit. This way you have a clear idea where your spending your time.

Every Sunday you can take a look at the various things you have accomplished. You can then work towards improving.

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