8 Ways to Manage Pain You Didn't Know About
Pain is our body's way of telling us something isn't right, and to stop. It can be anything from stubbing a toe to long-lasting, chronic pain and everything in between.
As medicine and technology progress, we're now finding more and more ways to combat this pain to mind life a little easier on our bodies.
Here are 8 ways to manage those niggles that you didn't know about.
Now hold on, this can't be right- can it? Surely using your body more will reduce pain symptoms. Well, it actually does. Taking light and gentle regular exercise is a great way to not only get the body moving and loose, but also to stop pain signals reaching the brain.
Simply going for a walk, swim, or even gardening can stretch out stiff muscles, ligaments, and joints to keep them warm and working as they should.
Don't dive straight into something too heavy if you're not ready - try to gradually work your fitness level up to avoid putting more stress on the body and causing injury.
You may feel a little more pain at first as your muscles get used to your new routine, but don't worry- this is just their way of building and getting stronger.
Many find that pain gets worse at night, which is mostly due to the fact that there's nothing else to think about other than the aches that are preventing sleep.
Even if this is the case, it's important to stick to a regular sleeping pattern that sees you go to sleep and get up around the same time every morning.
This will give you a better chance of sleeping through the night so your body can rest and repair whatever is troubling you.
Take a course
If you're living with something that is a little harsher than the odd bump and bruise such as arthritis or diabetes, it may be a good idea to join a course to learn the best ways to manage your pain.
Speaking to others going through the same thing as you is a fantastic way to not only sympathize with each other but pick up tips and tricks that you may not have thought of yet.
Many people who go on self-management courses find that they take fewer drugs now because they've found more practical ways to manage their pain than taking a pill.
If you're not quite ready to take on a full course, websites like the Arthritis Foundation offer great online resources on pain management.
CBD oil is now taking the world by storm with its range of benefits, including its ability to relieve even the most chronic of pain. CBD is a compound belonging to the cannabis plant, but that shouldn't put you off- it doesn't contain the psychoactive ingredient responsible for the 'high' cannabis has become known for.
In fact, CBD Kyro claims that a dosage of 5-10mg is all it takes each day to relieve the symptoms of pain as it produces pro-inflammatory biomarkers. Healthcare Weekly agrees, stating that CBD oil provides a safer and equally effective solution to chronic pains such as back pain, migraines, arthritis, and even pain in the aftermath of chemotherapy.
Pain can leave you anxious, making your breathing pattern quick and sharp. Breathing slowly and deeply will leave you feeling much more in control of the situation and prevent your muscles from tensing, which can make the pain even worse.
WebMD suggests foursquare breathing.
This relaxation technique involves breathing deeply so that your abdomen expands and contracts with each breath. You should inhale to a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four and hold again for a count of four. Repeat this until you feel back in control of your body and ready to get through the pain.
You don't have to go anywhere or do anything for this one. Meditation is all about sitting still, breathing and focusing on your thoughts.
Many people suggest doing this first thing when you wake up to set your intentions for the day - these could be anything from getting some fresh air to simply trying not to get upset with yourself about your pain.
It's also great for your mental health too, to reduce feelings of anxiety surrounding problems with your body.
Try a 20 minute guided meditation for pain relief and see how it feels for you.
No, we're not talking about the food here (although who's to say that couldn't help too!) If the mental fixes aren't quite working then you should try RICE: rest, ice, compress and elevate. This works really well for pain in the knees, feet, and hands.
A lot of the time our bodies don't need prescription drugs when it comes to these kinds of pain, they simply need to be listened to and cared for.
Try this method at night before bed when you can take five minutes to relax without worrying about anything else.
When you ice the injury, try to also apply pressure with either bandaging or plastic wrap. For injured arms and legs, it is recommended that you raise them above your heart to reduce swelling.
Sometimes, your muscles become really tense and all they need is a good stretch to get going again. This can not only relieve pain but prevent it from becoming cystic, too.
Similar to meditating, this is a great way to start your day.
And, no matter what pain you're suffering from, there's always a stretch for it. Try to avoid searching for stretches, and speak to your doctor instead. This will stop you from injuring yourself further.