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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.
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.
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.