7 Self-Care Strategies to Tame Pain is from www.realage.com.
It takes a multifaceted approach to take the edge off chronic pain. That means employing a full arsenal of ache-easing weaponry, rather than a single remedy. Yes, it's important to follow your doc's recommended medication plan, but don't stop there. Explore other do-it-yourself remedies until you've developed a combined treatment plan that really pacifies your pain. Here are seven options to try.
Ice packs can help reduce swelling and numb painful joints
and muscles, but some folks prefer moist heat to ease aches. Others
find the best relief from a combination of both. Follow these basic
guidelines: Use ice -- never heat -- in the first 48 hours after an
injury, and make sure never to place an ice pack directly on the skin
(use a paper towel or cotton lining). After the first 48 hours, use
heat or alternate heat with cold. Not sure which is best? Check with
Suffering from muscle spasms, a soft-tissue injury, or
osteoarthritis? Over-the-counter or prescription analgesic creams
containing arnica menthol, wintergreen, peppermint, camphor, or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help soothe your
pain. Ask your doc whether combining topical analgesics with oral pain
relievers might help even more. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, or
ibuprofen can help reduce pain, as can prescription pain relievers.
Deep-breathing exercises not only reduce the stress
associated with pain (or a crummy day at the office), they may also
help tame the pain itself. You can use deep breathing as an emergency
pain- or stress-reducing measure. Better yet, make it a daily ritual to
see if it dampens overall pain levels and bolsters your mood. Not sure
how to breathe more deeply? Follow this step-by-step guide at http://alt-sites.tripod.com/meditation.htm#dipbret .
Can Zen meditation quell pain? Studies have revealed that
people practicing mindfulness meditation are often less sensitive to
pain, experience noticeable drops in chronic pain levels, and are
better able to cope with pain than folks who don't meditate. One way
meditation helps is by boosting production of pain-killing hormones in
Hypnosis -- or hypnotherapy -- is an intentionally induced
trance-like mental state thought to make a person more receptive to
suggestion and helpful guidance. It has been used to help people lose
weight, quit smoking, and enhance athletic performance. Some claim
hypnosis also curbs and enhances the ability to cope with pain.
However, some people are less susceptible to hypnosis than others, so
the technique isn't for everyone. If you want to try it, seek the
services of a trained and licensed hypnotherapist or look at this
hypnosis document at http://alt-sites.tripod.com/hypnotism.htm .
Can how you think about your pain worsen or improve it?
Maybe. Studies examining cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have found
that chronic pain sufferers who undergo CBT become more optimistic
about their abilities to relieve and cope with their pain in as little
as 6 days. If you want to explore this avenue, ask your doctor for a
referral to a psychologist trained in CBT.
Two Eastern forms of meditative exercise -- tai chi and yoga -- are prized for enhancing strength, flexibility, and a calm spirit. Studies have revealed that both may also reduce pain and improve physical function in people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic lower-back pain. Beyond that, both disciplines may lower stress levels and boost overall quality of life in chronic pain sufferers. Discover other tai chi benefits.