I'm learning about pain management, My treatment will depend upon things such as:
How intense it is
How long it’s lasted
What makes it worse or better
Sometimes my pain is strong and sudden (“acute”) but most of the time it is a dull, long-term (“chronic”) pain. The chronic pain has lasted for years. My back was injured in a car accident in the 1980's and has continued off and on ever since. It can cause tense muscles, problems with moving, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. It can also affect my emotions. Sometimes I feel depressed, angry, or anxious about the pain and injury coming back.
What do I do about it?
1. Keep moving and stay active. I'm able get stronger and move better. The key is to challenge my body without doing too much, too soon.
2. Physical and occupational therapy. I took recovery to the next level with these treatments. In physical therapy, I focus on the exact muscles you need to strengthen, stretch, and recover from injury.
3. Massage therapy. It’s not a cure, but it can help me feel better temporarily and ease tension in my muscles.
4. Relaxation. Meditation and deep breathing are two techniques to try. I also picture a peaceful scene, do some gentle stretching, or listen to music you love. Another technique is to scan my body slowly in my mind and consciously try to relax each part of your body, one by one, from head to toe. Any healthy activity that helps me unwind and can help me feel better prepared to manage my pain.
While there are other options, these are the ones that work for me. When I need to, I use over the counter ibuprofen or aspirin.
5. Ice and heat! I have found that most of the time, ice makes the ache lessen. There are times when heat feels better than cold, so that's when I use a heating pad or a hot tub. Sometimes, I switch back and forth from heat to cold.
Pain is part of being human. It is not good or bad.
Do you deal with chronic pain? What is your best method of helping your body when pain is present?