Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that changes lives. Being bedridden one day but unimpaired the next can be difficult to understand and to explain to others. It’s normal to feel angry when pain hinders you from activities you enjoy or the ability to take part in routine tasks.
When it comes to treating chronic pain, there are many methods and techniques practiced across the globe. From over-the-counter and prescription medication to mind/body techniques to acupuncture, there are a lot of approaches. For some people, relief may be found by using a combination of treatment options.
Dr Sarang Puranik, Consultant in Pain Management at Parkside, looks at some of the best ways to manage chronic pain.
Many chronic pain issues can be prevented by starting regular physiotherapy exercises with a qualified Physiotherapist. Chronic muscle and joint stiffness can increase your pain and make it worse. Once you have learnt these exercises and tips on how to keep yourselves active from a qualified physiotherapist, you can continue do them at home. You would then be able to gradually increase your activity day by day.
Yoga/Pilates: Regular exercise is very important in managing your pain. It is important to use any of these activities in your weekly routine. Lot of studies have shown that gentle exercise and walking will keep your muscles and joints active. Regular exercise boosts your body’s natural endorphins that can help to control pain.
Deep breathing and soothing exercises help to relax and ease your pain.
In recent years, the use and awareness of mindfulness has expanded. It is now a commonly practised tool. Mindfulness is the skill of thinking you are doing something when you are doing nothing. It is a process which gives us an insight into what is happening inside your body and outside. This can be used by anyone and anywhere with little practice. These self-help techniques are now becoming an important component of chronic pain management.
Cognitive behaviour therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
It is well known that negative feelings such as anger, helplessness, fear, anxiety and stress can increase the body’s sensitivity to pain. There are various techniques available for the psychological management of pain such as biofeedback, goal setting, acceptance and commitment therapy within CBT. By controlling your mood and stress you can manage your pain better. It is also important to continue working, which will help to keep your mind busy in other activities and help you to reduce the burden of pain on your body. Of course, you should seek psychological help if and when needed, and there are various resources online to help with this.,
Early treatment of pain
Treatment of any acute pain issues such as back pain, pain after surgery and injury, initially in the best possible way could help in preventing the same pain becoming persistent. There are many treatments, such as medications and injections available to help you manage these in a better way. You can seek help from your GP or specialist pain medicine doctors, including our experienced and skilled team at Parkside, to help guide you through the various treatments available to you.
You can find out more about pain management at Parkside, and contact our expert team to book an appointment, here.