Image via Flickr
5 Pain Management Techniques You Can Do at Home
Pain can be debilitating, and slowly start to affect your life negatively – which is why once you have pain, you should be sure to take care of it before it gets any worse. There are different pain management techniques you can try to help alleviate your acute or chronic pain. Here are five pain management techniques that you can do in the comfort of your home:
1. Practice healthier habits.
Eating a balanced diet will help aide your digestive process, reduce the risk of heart disease, keep your weight under control, and most importantly, alleviate inflammation that leads to more pain. Foods that may alleviate inflammation include leafy greens, low-sugar fruits, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, and some soy products. Stay away from foods that can initiate inflammation, like processed foods, wheat products, dairy, and chocolate. Another healthier habit to practice is staying hydrated – especially by drinking more water. Dehydration can bring on symptoms of chronic headaches and back pain, which is why it’s really important to keep drinking throughout the day. Other habits to work on are getting enough sleep and not smoking, which can also worsen chronic pain if not changed.
2. Get active.
Exercise can help relieve chronic pain. When you exercise, your body is releasing endorphins, which are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while simultaneously blocking pain signals. Exercise also helps you reduce pain by strengthening your muscles and by helping prevent re-injury and/or further pain. Try to get regular aerobic exercise with activities such as swimming (if you have a pool), stationary cycling, and walking. Start off slow and increase your activity little by little, stretching each day to loosen up your muscles. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program so they can help you pick the right exercise routine for you.
3. Reduce the stress in your life.
Stress causes muscles to spasm, which are a part of both acute and chronic pain. When you’re stressed you can feel depressed, anxious, and angry – all negative feelings that can increase the body’s sensitivity to pain. Learning to control your stress may help you find some relief from your chronic pain. Yoga, meditation, and guided imagery are three ways to help you focus and relax your mind and body. Yoga helps people who are suffering with chronic pain promote both strength and flexibility, while relaxing the mind and decreasing stress. When it comes to meditation, you are calming your mind and focusing on the present through mindful breathing. In regards to guided imagery, you are creating calming and peaceful images in your mind that help you relax. One more way to reduce your stress? Talk to someone about your feelings. Expressing yourself can help release your anger and let go of your worries.
4. Indulge in a self-massage.
Massages can help relax tense muscles and relieve pain, which is why a self-massage is being used by people living with all types of acute and chronic pain, including neck and back. With a self-massage, you can help your own back muscles relax at the comfort of your home by using a tennis ball. Before using this technique, do a few easy stretching exercises to prepare your muscles. Then, lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Put the tennis ball under you lower back, take a deep breath and then relax into the ball as much as you can. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then lift yourself and move the ball to another area. You can also perform self-massage with two tennis balls stuffed into a sock. In this case, lay on the tennis balls with one ball on each side of your spine.
5. Improve your posture.
Maintaining proper posture is essential when fighting pain. Whether you’re sitting at your desk at work or watching a movie on your couch, you need to make sure you’re not slumping over. It’s normal for people to fall into the C-slump, when your back is rounded and your head is in front of your spine. The C-slump position can impair your nerve and blood flow, in addition to producing strain. In order to maintain proper posture, make your spine straight and tall while keeping your head directly above –this helps prevent strain on your back and neck muscles. Practicing yoga at home can improve your posture, too.
If you would like to learn more pain management techniques, contact Premier Pain Centers. We specialize in obtaining dramatic results in pain management without the need for major surgery. Let us help you live your life pain free.