“Being in PAIN is proof that you are alive!” is what I remember one particular Doctor said to me in an attempt to cheer me up … I could have honestly punched him one just to show him some pain, but lucky for him I don’t believe in violence so I didn’t!
Being In Pain
Being in pain is one thing that most people can easily cope with and shrug off with adequate time to allow the body to heal. But when you have a long history of unresolved pain that involves in you living each day in constant pain (with or without chemical-based pain relief medicine) the last thing that you need is a Doctor cracking the odd joke.
Pain is the brain’s interpretation of a message delivered to it by a sensory nerve.
It is a good and necessary warning that there is a something wrong, possibly a trauma, a burn, a puncture wound, a fracture or a disease state that needs treatment.
Pain varies in its intensity, its position, its location and in its description.
Chronic or nagging pain always causes fatigue, through your body trying to cope with the stress of the pain and there is nothing like pain relief to cure fatigue (apart from a good dose of Iron/Ferretin).
There are several ways that you can interfere with the brain’s response and eliminate or reduce the level of pain.
Chronic PAIN Relief
I will mention below various methods that you should be able to manage to do in order to help yourself with pain relief (I have tried just about everything that I will be listing below).
This is the most obvious but it must be said that the removal of the cause of the pain is the best solution so proper diagnosis is extremely important.
Bed rest with regular movements in and out of bed if at all possible. Staying absolutely still (unless you are under strict doctors orders to do so) will only prolong you being pain free as the body needs to move.
Make use of an elastic bandage or belt for additional support if movement is necessary especially as exercise stimulates endorphins, a natural pain barrier, into our blood stream.
Hold and/or Cold Packs on the painful area may reduce swelling and the level of pain and if at all possible elevate a swelling in an arm or leg.
Hire a Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine or give Acupuncture a go. Magnetic studs on acupuncture points have also been found to be effective in bringing pain relief.
Try and reduce your levels of stress, easier said than done I know but panic, tension and fear creates a cycle of stress, which in turn creates more pain and this pain will rob you of your restorative sleep and you will always feel (and probably look) half-dead from exhaustion and fatigue.
Learn how Diet and the removal of certain allergenic foods can help you bring about some pain relief. It is extremely important that you reduce the amount of processed or refined “white” foods such as white bread, white flour and white sugar from your diet.
No “Comfort Food” eating either or this will more than likely add to other problems such as increased weight gain. Try and keep your weight under control as it is only too easy to put on unwanted weight when you are unable to exercise because you are in pain and this puts extra pressure on your body and/or joints.
Have your Iron and Ferretin levels checked for Anaemia or other bone-pain causing blood disorders.
Anti-Inflammatory tablets and pain relievers are often necessary for a short time and we bless this fact when pain is severe but bear in mind that constant usage of these chemical-based drugs over an extended period of time can do nothing but harm and can cause exhaustion of our immune reserves, plus severe liver, kidney and stomach damage.
Try Alternative Therapies such as Homoeopathy, Reflexology, Yoga (ouch!), Tai Chi, and my all time favourite Reiki Healing or Energy Healing. All of these can be used in conjunction with chemical-based medicinal treatment and make sure that you remember to tell your Pain Doctor if you are trying out and/or using complimentary alternative therapies.
Learn to use Massage and Aromatherapy and/or Herbal ointments to help relieve localised muscle spasms.
Try Hypnosis or other Mind Relaxation techniques. Breathe evenly and rhythmically and try to relax.
Music and/or Sound Therapy may also prove to be effective. Just sit and/or lie back and take the time out to listen to your favourite music.
Try Art Therapy as this is a fabulous way to release frustration especially if you are into Abstract Art as I am. This may not give you actual pain relief but it certainly does take your mind of being in pain whilst you are ‘creating your masterpiece/s’.
Make sure that you are constantly paying attention to your overall Posture. It is amazing just how much pain especially lower-back pain is posture related.
If you are a ‘office-worker’ or work from a home office as I do then think about changing the type of chair that you do most of your sitting in. I had a trial on a Ball Chair and after initially not really liking it I now absolutely love it and am sitting on top of it as I type this article.
So if you have given all or some of the above a go and are still in pain it just leaves me to say that Acute Pain will usually dissipate with time if no major damage has been done whereas Chronic Pain needs more hands-on long-term management and so the doc’s keep telling me will eventually go away.
On that note, I remember another Doctor telling me early on in my trials and tribulations of coping with Chronic Pain that “it is just mind over matter … if you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter” … obviously another attempt to make me smile and I don’t think it worked on that day either!
I wish you well on your own personal journey on the path to obtaining better health and well-being by living a PAIN-FREE life.