Dealing with chronic pain can have an unbelievably widespread effect on your life. Not only does the pain cause extreme physical discomfort, it can govern your overall mental well-being in ways that leave your emotions raw, even leading to depression and anxiety.
If the thought of surgical procedures or pain medications leaves you cold, there are more natural ways to manage your pain and take back control of your life. Here at Apex Medical Center, we work with our patients in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, tailoring pain relief programs that provide long-term relief from chronic pain.
To explore your natural options for pain management, we’ve pulled together a few ideas to get you started.
Work it out
Though the thought of exercise when you’re dealing with pain may seem like trying to eat a steak when you have a stomach bug, the fact is that physical therapy is one of the best ways to overcome pain.
Under the guidance of a professional physical therapist, you can learn how to work your muscles and joints in such a way that takes the pressure off the area causing you pain, letting other areas of your body shoulder more of the burden.
Let’s say you have a painful, arthritic knee that objects to your every movement. Through physical therapy, you can learn how to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee, taking the pressure off your worn-down cartilage or beleaguered ligaments.
When you embark on such a program, we make sure you ease in with the least amount of pain, slowly building your strength.
Going hot or cold
Most chronic pain is caused by inflammation, which is your body’s way of protecting itself while it tries to deal with the problem. Unfortunately, if your body is unable to repair itself, you’re still left with the inflammation, which irritates the nerves in the area.
One of the best ways to tackle inflammation is to apply ice packs. The cold therapy not only reduces inflammation, it can numb the area, quieting the pain signals.
On the other side of the spectrum, heat therapy also works well for chronic pain by increasing blood and nutrient flow to the area and suppresses the signaling back and forth to your brain that causes pain.
The medical world is increasingly embracing yoga as a great way to battle chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, and migraines. Although yoga itself is thousands of years old, it wasn’t until more recently that Western medicine began to understand just how effective the practice is, both physically and mentally.
Studies have shown that a weekly yoga session increases mobility more than any other treatment, in addition to delivering improved mental health.
And that’s exactly what yoga practitioners have been saying all along. By combining mind and body techniques that help relax you and increase your strength and flexibility, you can master your pain, and your mood.
Massage and meditate
Relaxation techniques, such as a massage and meditation, are extremely effective ways to manage pain. Massage may be the more obvious method because who doesn’t like a nice, soothing rub down of your achy and tired muscles? But massages also allow your mind to escape for a little bit while someone else tends to your pain.
Meditation techniques also deliver the same benefit. Chronic pain is especially hard to deal with since it taxes your body and your mind, and both are exhausted from the constant battle. A good meditation practice, which can be sitting quietly or simply lying down somewhere in nature, releases your mind from your body, giving you a period in which pain isn’t the center of your attention.
Get your zzzzs
When you go to sleep, and we mean good restorative sleep, your body takes this time to scan itself and send resources to rebuild and strengthen areas that may be in need of help. So, be sure you get at least seven to nine hours a night, and maybe even throw in a nap during the day, to allow your body to repair itself and your mind to rest.
If you’d like to explore more natural options for pain management, please give us a call, or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.