The best way to treat chronic pain is to first determine the underlying cause with your doctor. By targeting the source, treatment may be more effective in eliminating (or at least reducing) pain. The following are some common tools for managing chronic pain.
Heating pads are mainly used for musculoskeletal pain affecting muscles, bones, joints and tendons to help relax muscles and reduce joint pain. Affordable heating pads are easily available in retail pharmacies and do not need to be expensive to be effective.
Experts recommend not to use heating pads every day because it will exacerbate inflammation. People with chronic arthritis may find comfort in using heating pads intermittently, which may help in the long run. Another effective treatment is to alternately use hot and cold therapy to treat the painful area.
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Wedge-shaped pillows can help relieve several chronic pain conditions. For lower extremity edema (swelling caused by fluid in the tissues), joint swelling and post-operative pain, Nesbitt recommends that you lie on your back and place a leg-lifting pillow under your leg. The pillow has a flat platform for your calf to rest on it. . This posture can help relieve hip and back pain and reduce pressure and pressure on the waist.
Hip pain associated with bursitis (inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between tissues), arthritis (inflammation of the joints), or iliotibial band (IT) band (a thick band of tissue from the hip to the knee) may be through Lie on your side and place a wedge pillow between your knees to manage it. This position reduces the pressure on the upper buttocks.
The size of the wedge pillow you need depends on your body type and leg length. Side sleepers with hip or back pain may prefer a 3 to 4 foot long body pillow.
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Lumbar support pillow
The lumbar support pillow is placed behind you to provide support and improve posture. If sitting for a long time is painful for you, it may be a useful tool. Nesbitt likes Therm-a-rest lumbar pillow, which allows you to adjust the tightness and can be easily stored for travel.
According to Dr. Shaw, there is not much evidence that pillows are effective in treating chronic pain. On the contrary, pillows help you find the position with the least stress or pain, allowing your body to manage it more comfortably.
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Nesbitt said that eating a healthy diet of “fruits, vegetables and a small amount of processed food” can help anyone, but it is a key part of controlling chronic pain, especially joint and back pain. Avoiding empty calories and reducing sugar can significantly reduce weight, thereby reducing pressure on joints and back. Fat and sugary foods are also related to inflammation, which can become more painful and difficult to treat over time.
Nesbitt recommends a Mediterranean diet that emphasizes healthy fats such as whole foods, plant foods and olive oil, and includes small to moderate amounts of cheese, yogurt, fish, and poultry.
Chronic pain caused by various diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia can be treated by moving the body purposefully and towards the target. “Exercise is not really an option,” Nesbitt said, which means it must be as part of your daily life as possible. “But it doesn’t mean that you are the rat of the gym-find the way that suits you best, and that is the best way to exercise.” This may seem like going swimming, doing Tai Chi, or socializing with family and friends. Take a walk at the same time.
Grading exercise, or adding exercise exercises over time, can help people with chronic pain. Maybe at your pain level, you can only walk for 10 minutes. However, over time, your organization will adapt to your work and build your tolerance.
The following practices involve treating your entire body to relieve chronic pain.
- Physical therapy It is an important part of the treatment of certain chronic pain. It involves whole body exercises such as walking or stationary bicycles and/or more local exercises that use your body weight or other weights. Physical therapy usually focuses on mobility and restores people to a level where they can perform daily tasks and effectively control pain.
- Massage therapy This involves kneading the soft tissues of the body to help treat pain. If your muscles are tight, overworked, or painful, massage can be very helpful. It may not be a one-time treatment for chronic pain, but as a continuous adjunct to other treatments. More importantly, you can easily enjoy the benefits of massage using various massage tools at home.
- acupuncture, Which is called dry needle in Western medicine, involves inserting fine needles into the skin. This approach can help treat a variety of chronic pains, including low back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis pain. It can also help painful or weak muscles move easily.
There is evidence that some alternative therapies may help relieve chronic pain.
- HypnotherapyOr hypnosis, which helped control some chronic pain in clinical research. Chronic pain conditions tested and treated with hypnotherapy include spinal cord injury, gastrointestinal disease, and multiple sclerosis.
- Some herbal treatments It has a history of hundreds of years and is rooted in China, India and other parts of Asia. For example, Ashwagandha, a popular herbal remedy, has been shown to be effective for arthritis pain and swelling. At the same time, studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can also help relieve pain associated with multiple sclerosis, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved herbal treatments for chronic pain. The dosage of supplements may vary. Certain supplements and herbs may cause potential drug-herbal interactions. Please consult your doctor first.
The over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) is generally considered safe for chronic pain. Although Dr. Shaw recommends that long-term users take no more than 3,000 mg per day, the lowest effective dose is always preferred.
Other common over-the-counter painkillers ibuprofen and naproxen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) designed to treat acute pain rather than chronic pain. Long-term use increases the risk of heart attack or stroke and gastrointestinal bleeding. Due to age-related issues, such as changes in the body’s drug response and increased comorbidities (there is more than one health condition), NSAIDs may also be more risky in the elderly. For many people, acetaminophen is ineffective, but because it does have anti-inflammatory properties, they sometimes take it all the time, increasing the risk of these health problems.
Experts recommend trying non-drug pain treatment options first. “In general, I do believe that interventions such as pillows, diet changes, and physical exercise provide excellent options for treating chronic pain before starting to use painkillers,” said Rahul Shah, MD, plastic surgeon at Premier Orthopedic Spine Associates, New Jersey.
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