Body, Bath & Beauty Blog

Five Steps to Pain Relief

Posted on: April 8, 2009

massage1I came across a helpful article in Arthritis Today  for anyone who suffers from arthritis pain, or even any other physical pain. Five Steps to Pain Relief is a great, brief reference to overcoming pain relief.

The author explains first of all that pain relief is not achieve in one great way. One must try different solutions and those solutions may change over time, as pain can. The best thing to do is keep and open mind towards new things, and edit your solutions as your needs change.

“Think of arthritis pain management as a continuing journey, with options at each stop along the way that progress from least risky and least invasive on up.”

The article explains that first you must educate yourself about your pain. There are a lot of “roadblocks” you can run into on your journey, and knowing more about your condition will help you from being delayed or sent in the wrong direction. Also posture and exercise are vital elements that aid any pain management plan. Next, start finding solutions. Pain causes problems with everyday tasks, so find ways to solve with these problems and continue living your life.

There are several things you can do at home to help yourself. Heat is important because it increases blood  flow to affected areas.

“Warming tissues eases arthritis pain by increasing blood flow to affected areas, which can help decrease inflammation, relax tight muscles and eliminate waste products such as lactic acid that cause stiffness and soreness.”

The article lists five ways of heating:

  1.  Soaking in a bath or jacuzzi
  2. Heating pads, preferably microwavable or with an automatic off feature
  3. Wrapping with a “low-level continuous heat wrap”
  4. Alternating from cold and hot water baths to reduce swelling
  5. Wax: “Coating hands or feet in melted paraffin wax traps the heat right where you need it – on your sore joints.”

There are also things you can do outside of the doctor’s office to alleviate pain such as acupuncture, massage and ultrasound. You should always inform your physician of the treatments you are trying though, even if they don’t require a prescription.

Finally, there are ways to relax the body, by way of relaxing the mind:

  • Hypnosis: “Hypnosis can help some people manage pain or shift their attention from it.”
  • Biofeedback: “With biofeedback, sensors connect the body to a machine showing how thoughts and actions can affect the autonomic nervous system”
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): “Psychotherapists using CBT help people understand that connection and learn to control their thoughts so they can control feelings and physical reactions.”

Following these steps can be a good way to structure a pain management program for yourself so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Take a look at the full article here. I believe this is a great starting point for anyone dealing with physical pain.

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