Once you are in pain and you commence taking Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Codeine and other drugs it is very easy to depend on these drugs to manage your pain. It can get very expensive and many of these drugs have side-affects which you may or may not be aware of.
If you have found out the source of your pain and the condition that you have that is giving you pain, consider commencing pain management strategies that can reduce your pain. Before undertaking any new exercise, obtain approval from your GP or health care provider to ensure the exercise is suitable for your condition.
Here are some pain management strategies that don’t involve taking pills.
Stretching – If your pain is muscular skeletal, gentle stretching of the inflamed area may reduce your pain. Consider arm raising, leg stretching and leg raising to keep your joints moving. If it hurts stop the exercise.
Walking – Movement may assist in pain management. If you have a walking stick or are in a wheel chair, consider walking or floating in a pool to get the weight off your joints. If you are walking in water ensure the water is above your waist level so you are not putting too much pressure on your back, knees, legs or feet.
Fit ball – The fit ball can be a great aid to assist in pain management. Ensure you brace your abdominal muscles and lift your pelvic floor. Begin with basic exercises like pelvic rotations, alternative leg lifts and alternative arm lifts.
Your diet – Some foods have natural anti-inflammatory properties, these include pineapple, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Swap out some unhealthy foods for these healthy alternatives and see if you have an improvement in your pain levels.
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.
This is a great way to reduce your pain and can include the following activities that will make you seem like you are on holiday and will assist to reduce your stress and even your pain.
Meditation holiday – Ensure you are sitting in a comfortable position and your surroundings are quiet. It may be worthwhile to invest in some noise cancelling headphones. Close your eyes and use a count down from 20 to put you in your favourite holiday spot. Visualise everything around you and take yourself back to that holiday spot. Remember the sights and smells. Stay in your holiday place for as long as you can.
Try drawing or painting a picture – This could be painting a picture of the sea, the countryside or something else that makes you feel relaxed. If you are new to painting, consider trying sketching first. This activity allows you to concentrate on something different and release your stress.
Go on a walk – Go somewhere where you feel relaxed and can look at your surroundings. Notice every leaf on the tree. Feel the ground under your feet. Take notice of the wind on your face. Can you smell anything? What does it smell like? Engross yourself in your surroundings.
Listen to your favourite sounds. These sounds will help you to reduce your pulse and make you feel relaxed. This music could be sounds of the sea, an orchestral piece (at 60 beats per minute or slower) or rainforest sounds. Imagine you are there at the sea, rainforest or watching live music. Ensure your breathing is slow and regular and take in all the sounds.
For more strategies that beat pain, check out the Beatpain App available from the Apple Store and Google Play.
There are so many meditation strategies out there that can give you relief from pain. You need to find a meditation that suits your personality and medical conditions. Here are several meditation strategies that may be suitable for you:
Mindfulness Meditation – Jon Kabat-Zinn is a person who has successfully used mindfulness mediation to improve pain management. Several Guided Mindness Meditation strategies can be downloaded from You Tube.
The Headspace Meditation App assists individuals with many different conditions. This app can be downloaded from the App store.
The Cleansing Pool is a guided meditation technique that can be accessed at You Tube.
To obtain benefits from meditation it is advised that you find time every day to do the same meditation technique. Complete the same meditation for a week and see if it reduces your pain and improves your mindfulness.
Talk to others about their pain management techniques as they may have a favourite meditation that suits them. Your friends may be able to advise you about pain management techniques and strategies that have worked for them.
For more information about pain management, find out more about the Beatpain app today at the Apple Store or Google Play.
Morgan Freeman has learnt to manage his Fibromyalgia by modifying his physical activity to include golf and walking. He has changed his mind-set about how his body works and has found physical activities which cause him less pain.
George Clooney has chronic back pain from a spinal injury he received in 2005. Clooney saw a pain management specialist and realised the only way he could come to terms with his pain was by finding new and rewarding challenges to give him a new meaning on life. He is now a happy father of 2 children and is an active campaigner against human rights injustices.
Elizabeth Taylor has Scoliosis and has experienced a life-time of chronic pain including almost turning blind at 21 years of age, 3 separate cases of near fatal pneumonia, and skin and brain cancer. She has changed her mind-set and has been quoted as saying:
“You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it; you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I have done it. There’s no other way.”
If you have gained inspiration from these famous people that is great. You need to find a pain management strategy that suits you. Check out the Beatpain App today available from the Apple Store and Google Play.
With so much food available, which foods will assist me to manage my pain? A few foods contain anti-inflammatory properties which may assist to reduce your inflammation and pain. Also, while you are eating these foods, you will not be eating other high sugar foods which may feed inflammation.
Foods which have anti-inflammatory properties include:
Flax and chia seeds contain many nutrients which assist in treating joint pain and inflammation as well as rheumatism
Omega 3 rich foods contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which assist the growth and function of the body – these foods include cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, cod, tuna and trout
Vibrant fruits and vegetables which contain loads of colour have loads of nutrients – these vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli and avocado
Nuts have great anti-inflammatory properties but are high in fat – Ensure you limit your nut intake to a small serve of walnuts, almonds, pecans or brazil nuts
Cocoa is packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation – the best chocolate to have is dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa
If you would like to find out more about how to manage your pain, Check out the Beatpain App today available from the Apple Store and Google Play.
Chronic pain is pain that persists beyond injury healing time. This persistent pain is less about the damage to your body and more about the sensitivity of your nervous system.
Research has shown that exercise helps to manage persistent pain. Exercise can reverse the negative cycle of muscle wastage and more pain. Individuals with persistent pain can learn to enjoy physical activities again and this helps them to manage their pain better physiologically.
To change your mind-set about your pain, you need to understand several things:
Exercise is medicine and daily exercise will assist you to manage your pain better
Use your stretches to cool down and do short steady amounts of exercise
Start slowly and don’t expect too much from yourself
Monitor your pain with a rating system from 0 to 10 with 10 being the strongest amounts of pain possible
Score your pain when doing your exercise and don’t push yourself into the stronger pain range
If your pain increases by more than 2 points during an exercise, stop doing the exercise
Different exercises can be undertaken to manage your pain. These exercises include:
Stretching exercises – Stretch at least once per day to keep your body supple and used to movement
Strengthening exercises – For building strong muscles which includes squats, wall push ups and bicep curls
Cardiovascular exercises – Walking, swimming and riding are light aerobic exercises which is less likely to impact on your joints
Most of all, keep it fun!
To find out more about which functional exercises are suitable for you, Check out the Beat Pain app available at the Apple Store and Google Play.