Chronic pain can be incredibly debilitating, wearing us down mentally and physically. There may not be any quick fixes or methods to rid us of pain, but there are ways, methods and tools for better managing it so that we can live a little easier. This collaborative post looks at a few physical ways to help manage pain without, or alongside, medications.
Given how different chronic pain can be for different individuals as well as the different abilities of people to withstand it, it should be no surprise that there are some who may need plenty of medicinal help to manage their pain. However, if you’re wary about relying too much on medication, especially opioids, then you may want to look at the more physical ways you can address your pain. Here are a few examples of ways to do that.
Stretch & Exercise
Exercise is consistently linked to lower levels of pain in people who are prone to chronic pain in the joints and the back. For one, exercise can improve the strength of the muscles around the joints, which supports the parts of the body most affected by chronic pain. Many find that the likes of swimming and yoga are particularly beneficial as they improve flexibility while not putting too much pressure on joints. Furthermore, exercise releases neurotransmitters called endorphins, which can dull your pain response, even if temporarily.
Of course, a lot of people with chronic pain may find it difficult to become physically active, so it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about low-impact exercises that may actually be safer for you to do.
Let’s Get Physical
While not specifically a medical treatment, there are some readily available approaches that you can take without needing to talk to your doctor. While it’s recommended that you see whether or not your doctor approves of it first, massage therapy can be booked by just about anyone. The act of relaxing muscles and improving blood flow can help a lot of people quell their joint and back pain to some degree. Furthermore, massage therapy has also been shown to help with depression and anxiety, and even to improve the average individual’s ability to sleep well in the night.
The Precise Hands-On Approach
While massage therapy can help when it comes to soothing muscles and relaxing your body to help alleviate pain to some degree, there are methods that are more direct. For instance, if you need help for neck pain and dizziness, then an osteopathic treatment targets it specifically. Through careful articulation or joints and manipulative techniques, they can adjust the body in a way in a way that meets the needs of the individual to calm the specific pain they feel.
To help ourselves day to day, there are various products we can try. They’ll work differently for everyone, so it’s a case of trial and error to see what might benefit you. There are warming gels and the likes of Voltarol to help reduce inflammation and the pain in joints and muscles. For self-massage, there are spiky balls to roll over muscles and help release tension, or infra-red massagers. TENS machines can help some, while others swear by CBD.
Improving Your Sleep Habits
A lack of sleep is going to consistently result in an experience of increased pain. Poor sleep leads to a great production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which causes the muscles in the body to tense, leading to back and joint pain due to the added friction and resulting inflammation. Finding the right mattress that offers you the support that you need is crucial.
Besides that, create a nightly schedule that can involve meditation to help you relax, banning any electronics from the bedroom, and ensuring that the area you sleep in is as quiet as can be.
Support pillows for the back or to use between your knees can also help with back and hip pain so you can get a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Physical Approaches In Conclusion
If you’re in need of some assistance in dealing with your chronic pain, then you should use what methods work best for you. However, for those who want to avoid relying on medication or who want something to use in conjunction with prescription pharmaceuticals, the tips above can help you manage it.
What methods do you find help with chronic pain?
[ This is a collaborative post and as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author ]