Living with chronic pain is something you really can’t appreciate until you are forced to deal with it. Not only does dealing with chronic aches cause you constant discomfort but it also affects you in a wide range of other ways – preventing you from getting enough sleep, stopping you from fully enjoying any activities you engage in, ruining your mood and making you more likely to have accidents and make silly mistakes.
Of course there are many drugs and medications out there to treat chronic pain and when it comes to these it’s important to listen to your doctor. These medications will have much more profound effects than any of the completely natural methods you could try yourself, and they will have been prescribed because they’ve helped others in your situation.
So using natural methods is not a substitute for medical treatment, and you should do your best to avoid unscientific scams such as homeopathic remedies that don’t really affect anything except the size of your wallet. That said though, you can certainly supplement your pain medication with natural methods and there are a lot of useful strategies you can employ completely naturally to reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing. Here we will look at some of those so that you can enhance the effect of your analgesics and live a more normal life if possible.
Exercising is something that many people don’t feel like doing when they are living with chronic pains, but actually it’s one of the very best things you can do for pain relief. While you should be careful of course not to exacerbate any injuries or conditions, using light exercise you will find that you produce a range of positive chemicals such as endorphins that will act as ‘natural’ pain killers. Furthermore, the act of exercising can help you to concentrate on other parts of your body thus taking the focus off of your discomfort, and it can strengthen your muscles which can support your weakened area. Stretching certain areas might also be helpful, but make sure you do consult with your physician before beginning any new course of exercise.
A warm compress is a very effective tool for combating pain and can also relax the muscles and be a great comfort. If you don’t have a warm compress to hand then you can try making one of your own quite easily – simply take some rice from your cupboard, fill up a sock with it, then place that sock in the microwave on a relatively low setting. The rice will warm up and the sock will keep it together and protect your skin from direct contact.
Likewise you can also benefit from using cold compresses which will numb the area that hurts. These are also very useful because they can help you to reduce swelling thus easing pressure further and the pain that comes from that. Again you can make your own easily – just take some frozen peas out of your freezer and wrap them in a teacloth. Be careful to avoid direct contact and don’t ice an area for more than a few minutes.
Massaging your affected area can be very useful for ‘muffling’ the local pain signal, but also for helping to direct blood flow and release tension in the surrounding muscles. Getting a professional to provide a massage is the best method of all, but you can even try massaging yourself to provide some relief. For a migraine one of the most effective treatments is to gently rub your temples which can help a lot so long as you’re gentle.
Baths are excellent for easing discomfort as they can act almost like a ‘whole body’ warm compress. They are brilliant for relaxing muscle and easing pressure, but they can also help to soften scabs and cuts. Taking an ice bath might be useful in some situations, but you should again consult with your GP to make sure you’ll benefit from it before going ahead.
If you have a joint pain then one of the best solutions is to use a support. I have a bad knee and I now wear a knee support for most activities which can help to stabilize it, provide comforting pressure and also prevent the pain cause from twisting it awkwardly or otherwise slipping etc.