A General Guide to Pain Relief

Pain is subjective. Pain relief looks and feels different for every individual. Sometimes pain has a purpose — it can alert us to an injury. But for many people, pain can overstay its welcome, causing suffering and poor quality of life. When your pain is lasting weeks or even months, you should be aware that you have options! Instead of running down to your local pharmacy… try these first.

1. Cold or Heat. These two tried and trusted methods are still the cornerstone of relieving pain for certain kinds of injuries. Heat and ice can penetrate deep into the muscle and provide relief from tightness. Heat and ice both provide an increased circulatory effect to help relax your muscles.

2. Exercise. When you are in extreme pain, exercise seems impossible. The key is to start slow and respect your body’s limits. Physical activity/ movement plays a huge role in disrupting the chronic pain cycle. Reduced mobility has been found to aggravate pain in some chronic conditions such as arthritis. Try gentle activities such as walking short distances. Staying mobile has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain.

3. Physiotherapy. Physiotherapists will guide you through a series of exercises designed to improve your strength and mobility. They also use a series of manual therapy techniques to reduce your bodies pain response to injury. These techniques may also reduce inflammation and improve joint function. They can also help you learn to perform a range of daily activities in a way that does not aggravate your pain.

4. Yoga and Pilates. These two forms of exercise incorporate breath control, meditation and gentle movements to stretch and strengthen muscles. These techniques help you restore a sense of control over your body. These specific set of exercises can introduce you to a relative rest and graded exposure type of movement, which encourages healing by disrupting your bodies pain cycle.
Also remember to check in with your basic health and nutrition needs.

Dehydration can increase your perception of pain and restrict blood flow through your brain. Remember those glasses of H20 daily!
Have you eaten recently? When we eat food, our bodies turn it into energy. Don’t make your pain worse by adding fatigue and irritability. Keep up with good nutrition and wholesome food!
Are you sitting/lying down comfortably? Build awareness of what positions are most comfortable and sustainable for you. Don’t be afraid to change or adjust your posture. Most times your best posture is your next posture.
Your pain relief pearl may be different from your neighbour. We were all made different, we all heal differently. Start by finding what works for you because you know yourself best. You don’t have to accept your pain. You are in control of your mind and body.
Asteera Singh
Physiotherapist ( Coremedical )

Leave a comment