If you regularly battle pain, you know that finding a pain management solution can be challenging and that what may work for some may not work for you. While everyone experiences pain differently, we’ve pulled together our top 10 tips for managing pain independent of or alongside treatments prescribed by your doctor. We believe multi-disciplinary, multimodal care is essential to pain relief, and these are just a few of the available avenues for relieving pain using harm-free, self-administered restorative therapies, and self-love.
- Exercise/Keep Moving – Staying active is important in the management of pain, as some of your pain stems from the tension caused by your experience, resulting in muscle tightness and stiffness. But apart from mobility, exercise releases endorphins, brain chemicals that support your mood and block pain signals.
- Ease Stress/Practice Meditation – Anxiety and stress can escalate your body’s pain response. To help manage the pain, incorporate stress relieving techniques like aromatherapy (try lavender essential oil), meditation, yoga and other tactics that help calm your body and mind.
- Don’t Overdo It on Good Days – There will always be good days and bad days, but on those that are good be sure to pace yourself. Yes, take advantage of the day but don’t overdo it at the gym or on-the-go as you might aggravate the source of your pain and regret it in the days that follow.
- Relieve Pain with Non-Invasive Technology – Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy is clinically proven to help relieve pain. Used in doctors’ offices for decades, PEMF is now available in a compact, wearable and affordable device that consumers can purchase over-the-counter to relieve pain at home or on-the-go.
- Set Realistic Goals – What you are experiencing is not easy or forgiving; set goals that are high but obtainable and be kind to yourself if you can’t always achieve them. Whether it’s a longer session on the treadmill or walking the dog once a day, these goals will benefit you physically and mentally. Don’t forget to reward yourself for hitting those milestones, too!
- Distract Yourself – Easier said than done, we hear you! But try and find small things you enjoy—even if it’s as simple as watching a movie or reading a great book—to distract yourself from the pain. Incorporate at least one hour of distraction time into your day to serve as an escape; while this won’t cure your pain, it may help your quality of life.
- Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Pain often stems from inflammation. While therapies out there like PEMF are designed to help fight the inflammation that is the source of your pain, an anti-inflammatory diet can complement this treatment and ensure your lifestyle isn’t making your pain worse. Start by incorporating foods like vegetables, nuts and healthy oils into your diet, and be sure to drink plenty of water! You can also consider cutting out alcohol.
- Track Progress – While it may seem tedious, it’s important to keep a log of your pain levels, activity, treatments and progress. By tracking these details, you’ll not only be prepared for your next doctor’s visit, but you’ll have a better understanding of your pain patterns and what treatments work best for you.
- Limit Alcohol – It’s not easy to hear, but unfortunately alcohol takes a toll on our sleeping habits. With chronic pain and insomnia so closely connected, it’s important to limit or completely avoid alcohol consumption to help improve your sleep cycle and ultimately, your quality of life.
- Join a Support Group – Pain is different for everyone, but engaging with other pain sufferers can serve as a therapeutic outlet. Those who don’t experience pain don’t always understand, and it will help you feel less alone. You may also walk away with new pain relief tactics, an improved mood and expanded social circle. Find a pain support group near you here.
Above all else, know you are not alone in trying to manage pain. There are millions of Americans fighting the same battles, and a new wave of companies in the health tech space looking to make a difference in your life. We are one of them.