Know Your Options for Pain Management
There has been a lot of buzz lately about the right and wrong ways to manage pain. It is important to learn about all of the different options there are for managing pain. Talking freely and openly with your doctor about your questions and concerns will help to create the best treatment plan for you. Here are some options to keep in mind and discuss with your doctor at your next visit.
As long as it won’t make your condition worse, exercise is a great way to help ease your discomfort from pain. Hormones called endorphins are released into your brain when you exercise. Endorphins can change the way your brain processes the pain, and also improve mood! Exercise increases blood flow to the nerves in your legs and your feet, which can actually repair some of the damage. Exercise is a great option for managing all types of pain, and is especially great for diabetic foot pain! Ask your doctor about different types of exercise and about physical therapy options to safely get your body moving again.
Icing the painful area will lower the inflammation and temporarily limit the flow of blood and immune cells to the affected area. Ice packs can help with inflammation from a headache, strained muscle, tendon, or ligament.
Once the inflammation and swelling has gone down, heat therapy is a great next step. Heat therapy will help keep the muscles relaxed around an injury, like with strained muscles or sprains. Examples of heat therapy include hot Epsom salt baths or heat packs. These will help keep the muscles relaxed around an injury, like with strained muscles or sprains.
Many people are able to reduce pain by using their brain! You can train your body to feel less pain with meditation. The more you practice, the more effective the meditation will be. Experts have seen results after just a couple of tries, and over time it can permanently reduce chronic pain. Meditation can help to ease feelings of pain in your body, while also training your mind to clear itself of pain and stress.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese form of movement. It combines deep breathing and movement to ease tension and nerves caused by chronic pain. Deep breathing and movement increase circulation, which then lowers the pain level you feel. People with severe neck pain and fibromyalgia find this very beneficial.
Acupuncture is done by a professional acupuncturist, who places needles at strategic points on the body. This balances body chemical signals and blood flow. This releases a hormone called serotonin, causing an immediate “feel good” sensation. Using acupuncture to treat chronic pain has been shown to greatly reduce pain.
Acupressure is done by applying pressure to certain points on your body. Pressure can be applied using your hands, feet, or even special tools. These points are linked with important energy pathways in your body. Applying pressure to these points can relieve pain instantly. In addition to helping with pain, acupressure is a great way to ease your mind of the stress that comes with pain.
Please talk to your doctor before trying any of these options. Your doctor will look at your personal medical history and decide if these options are right for you. Everyone is different, and there may be reasons that you shouldn’t use one or any of these pain management options. Trying some of these options may lower or change your need for prescription pain management medicine.
Pain Management Centers
Southern Maine Healthcare
Northern Light Health
Pen Bay Medical Center
Mid Coast Hospital
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