Living with chronic pain can be disheartening and uncomfortable and can often drag you down and stop you from doing the things that you enjoy. To make sure chronic pain doesn’t drag you down and prevent you living your best life, we’ve put together these helpful hints and tips on managing chronic pain.
Your doctor may recommend that you use over-the-counter painkillers for managing chronic pain. The use of painkillers could help reduce your pain and help you to stay more active so that you can keep doing the things you love. But you should make sure that you take medication correctly so as to avoid any side effects. To avoid these side effects, take the recommended dose of painkiller as regularly as is recommended, which will usually be every four to six hours.
You shouldn’t wait until your pain is severe before you start taking painkillers, as this may mean that they don’t work as well. If you find that a two-week course of over-the-counter painkillers doesn’t ease your chronic pain you should ask for help and advice on managing chronic pain further from your GP and pharmacist.
2. Relaxation training
Another method of managing chronic pain are relaxation techniques. You should practice deep breathing as part of these techniques to release tension from your muscles and relieve the pain. You may find that learning to relax properly takes time, but when done properly, relaxation training is a great way to focus attention away from your pain. You can also try using relaxation tapes to help you relax.
3. Physical therapy
Many pain experts recommend a short course of physical therapy for managing chronic pain.
You should find that a course of physical therapy helps to relieve your pain so that you can move better and carry out more every-day tasks, as well as the things you enjoy doing in your free time. You should find it much easier to walk, get upstairs and get in and out of bed.
If you suffer from persistent chronic pain, your physical therapy will most likely involve manipulation of your muscles and stretch and pain relief exercises.
Physical therapy will usually carried out by an osteopath, chiropractor or a physiotherapist.
Your doctor may also recommend acupuncture as a method of managing chronic pain. This is usually offered by a series of healthcare providers including physiotherapists. Acupuncture is especially good for managing chronic pain in the neck and back.
Your physiotherapist will usually be able to advise you on what techniques are best for relieving your chronic pain, whilst an occupational therapist can support you with environmental changes to help you remain in work throughout your chronic pain.
For more information on the various types of management of chronic pain, make use of our home doctor service.