Acupuncture can assist to manage pain in certain areas by increasing blood flow to the area to increase circulation and repair those cells. Acupuncture is like meditation as it allows to you relax into a non-sleep state where your mind wanders; and you feel relaxed. It is important to relax as the fine single-use needles are strategically positioned for pain management in certain areas. Ensure you use a practitioner that has the relevant qualifications and experience in using acupuncture needles.
Naturopaths can provide advice about how your diet affects your body. They may also advise which foods your body reacts to and which foods will assist with healing your body. A Naturopath may prescribe certain herbs and minerals to assist with specific ailments that you may have.
Hypnosis may assist you to manage chronic pain and tinnitus. However, you will need to be a person who will allow themselves to be guided to ensure they can relax enough to be hypnotised. The Practitioner will take you through some visualisations to assist you to manage your pain more effectively. Again, a Hypnosis Practitioner must be registered and have much experience and qualifications.
Psychological strategies for pain management include cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness and hypnotherapy.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT involves using adaptive coping skills such as relaxation, distraction, planning and routine, and problem solving to reduce the pain of the experience. This is a way of accepting the pain and knowing it is there for a reason and not getting stressed out by the pain. Negative and stressful thoughts are replaced with calming and positive thoughts that assist with pain management.
Mindfulness is distracting yourself from the pain by paying attention to everything around you. This involves using all your senses and being present in the moment. During this process you pay attention to each moment without making a judgement. This involves separating all the experiences from the pain itself. By focusing on what is going around yourself, you don’t notice the pain as much.
Hypnotherapy is a relaxed state of consciousness that involves the patient relaxing to a point where you can focus yourself away from the pain and look at pain as necessary to advise you of a potential medical condition. Hypnotherapy allows you to accept the pain and not notice it as much and live with it as a way of your body telling you about a medical condition.
Pain can be described as a message from your brain to your body advising that something is not right. When pain is first detected it is advisable to take notice of the pain and try and establish the cause of the pain and stop the cause if possible.
In the long term if pain is not managed effectively by getting to the cause of the problem, the following things may happen:
Reduced ability to recover from illness;
Spikes in blood pressure which may lead to heart attacks and strokes;
Nausea or loss of appetite;
Difficulty sleeping and sleep pattern disturbances;
Drowsiness, general weakness or fatigue;
Mood swings including feelings of helplessness, anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, social isolation and even suicide;
High hormone levels which place stress on the heart, lungs and other organs;
Being inactive or disruption of daily activities; and/or
Loss of interest in normal activities including work, hobbies, family, relationships and interests.
It is strongly advisable to seek medical attention to get to the source of your pain. Once you have discovered the cause of your pain, you can consider different pain management strategies that may be suitable for yourself and your condition.
Living with pain can be difficult and everyone has their own experience with pain, the cause for their pain and pain management strategies that work for them.
The greatest challenge with pain is if your pain is persistent. Some people believe that pain will never go away and they will have to live with it for the rest of their lives. These people give up on managing their pain and believe that it will never improve. At this point the only thing they can control with their pain is their acceptance of the pain.
Pain management can involve a range of strategies from distraction, cognitive behaviour therapy, physiotherapy, medication and other strategies. These strategies can be obtained from seeing a therapist that specialises in pain management, talking with your doctor and specialists and having a team of people that can assist with providing strategies to manage your pain.
You may find that different strategies will work at various times. You will need to be open minded and assess strategies as they become available.
Migraines can affect your quality of life in a negative way. The first thing you need to do is find out why you are getting migraines. Your migraine is there for a reason and you need to get to the source of the pain in order to treat the pain correctly.
There is not just one test to test for migraines. The first step is to talk with your GP about your medical history and life style to ascertain if these are the cause of migraines. It is best to keep a diary of your migraines which includes the following:
How often your migraines happen;
How long they are present for;
If they followed an activity;
How it effects your every-day life; and
If you have a family history of migraines.
This will assist to discover the cause of your migraines. You may have a CRT, MRI or EEG to rule out physical problems in your brain that may be causing your migraines.
If you find that migraines follow an event, is it possible to avoid or alter that event?
Exercise, stretching, meditation, acupuncture, massage, or medication may assist in preventing or relieving migraines. Different strategies work for different people.
Long term pain from a chronic illness needs to be managed effectively by:
Keeping your GP informed about changes in your health and having regular check-ups – Your GP is your first place to find out more information about traditional ways to manage your pain including the medication available which may suit you;
Social support from family and friends or even a support group will prevent you from becoming lonely and disengaged from others. Talking to someone else about your pain will make your pain seem as less of a burden and more of a condition that you can live with;
If you feel that your pain is overwhelming, contact your GP for referrals to other people that may assist with managing the pain of your condition, these Specialists could include a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Medical Specialist or a pain management clinic;
Positive lifestyle factors which could assist with your pain management could include a healthy diet, regular exercise, better management of stress and good sleep.
This is a very difficult situation and sometimes the only thing we can control is our thoughts. If you would like to try some alternative ways of managing your long-term pain, download the BeatPain App today.
Pain is there for a reason. It is there to tell you that something is wrong. If you ignore your pain and don’t get to the cause of it, your pain and the cause of the pain could get worse.
If you have pain in your back, shoulder or other areas, consider what could be the source of the pain. Speak to your GP about why you have the pain and develop a solution together to find the cause of the pain as well as treating the pain itself.
Consider seeing a Specialist to find out more information about your condition. Also consider having blood tests, urine tests, x-rays or MRIs to find out more about the cause of your pain. Discuss these tests with your GP or Specialist to find out more about your condition.
Talk to other people about the pain you are experiencing. They may have some ideas to its cause and how you can manage your pain effectively. Consider consulting alternative therapists such as Naturopaths, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Acupuncturists and other therapists. These alternative therapists like to understand the cause of your pain. Should you have any scans or findings from your GP or Specialist share your results with these therapists and they can find the best pain management strategies suitable for your condition.
Once you know the cause of your pain you are in a better position to treat your pain and get the best results.
For pain management strategies to manage your pain more effectively, check out the beatpain app at the App store and Google Play.
There are many things that we do every day that result in back pain. Here are a few activities that cause back pain.
Driving – A long commute often results in back pain because we sit in the middle of the seat. Ensure you are sitting up against the back of the seat and can reach the steering wheel and pedals comfortably. If you cannot sit back comfortably, place a cushion behind your lower back or purchase a back support for your car seat.
Sleeping – If you sleep on your stomach you may be causing additional pressure on your lower back. Try an alternative sleep position like on your back with a pillow underneath your knees. If you must sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your lower stomach to reduce the pressure on your back.
Brushing your teeth and shaving – When you bend over the sink, you place pressure on your lower back. If you do this for several minutes each morning, this places much stress on your lower back. Try standing upright and bending over briefly or try brushing your teeth and shaving whilst having a shower.
If you are working in an office or a role where you are sitting all the time, you will need to take frequent breaks from sitting to stretch your back and legs. The following exercises can be done discretely in your chair and will assist with managing back pain and mobility.
If you are working at a computer for a long length of time, ensure you get up when you start to feel pain or every hour. Get up from your chair and go and talk to someone or have a coffee, tea or glass of water.
Ensure you drink plenty of water during the day. For an adult this is 2 litres of water a day. If you are having trouble drinking enough water, measure out 2 litres of water and keep a litre on your desk. This will encourage you to drink more water.
When you are sitting in the chair, stretch your arms above your head and hold your hands.
While sitting, brace your pelvic floor and slowly lift each leg alternatively. If you can hold your leg up, try and keep your leg raised for 30 seconds. Do 10 leg lifts on each side.
Brace your pelvic floor again and slowly, do some pelvic rotations, completed 10 rotations clockwise and 10 anticlockwise.
If someone sees you doing these exercises, tell them you are doing stretches and you feel great. They might just copy you.
Chronic pain is very difficult to manage and it can affect your whole life. Simply avoiding the activities that contribute to pain is sometimes not enough to ensure you are pain free. Try a few of these strategies to find out what works for you.
Soft gentle exercise – a slow walk or a walk in a pool will assist to keep your joints soft and supple. Your muscles will be used and this will assist with their function also. Ensure you don’t walk up a hill or if you are walking in water, ensure that most of your body is submerged in the water up to your waist so that your back and legs don’t have to take all your weight. If you have a pain spasm or ache, stop the exercise, manage your pain and seek medical assistance.
Gentle stretches on a fit ball – Ensure you are not heavily medicated or have been drinking alcohol. Obtain a fit ball that is the right size for you. When you sit on the ball, your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs are parallel with the floor. Brace your pelvic floor and ensure you feel stable. Ensure you are breathing deeply and maintain your concentration. When you are ready, try some simple exercises such as lifting alternate legs, lifting alternate arms and some light ball bounces. Repeat each exercise 10 times on both sides.
Gentle Yoga stretches – Ensure you can lie comfortably on the floor. If you cannot get down to the floor, try doing these exercises on a bed. Pull in your pelvic floor and lift one leg straight into the air very slowly and take it as high as you can. Repeat this exercise 10 times for both legs. Do the same exercise with your arms and move as slowly as you can, concentrating on the technique.
For more information about exercises that will assist with pain management, please visit the Beatpain App Store or Google Play.