7 Helpful Steps for Pain Management Without Medication (Part 2)

Step 4 Keep a regular sleep schedule for pain management

Pain management often means incorporating a regular self care routing.  That is because our bodies respond well when we stick to a schedule.  

This is especially true when talking about sleep routines for pain management. When we do this, our body intuitively knows when to go to sleep and when to wake up in the morning which aids in healing and repair work.

I admit I don’t stick to this schedule all the time, but then again who could really do that?

But when I do stick to a sleep schedule, I feel more well rested and wake up before my alarm rings in the morning.  Also, science supports this and when we train our bodies to stick to a somewhat regular schedule, the mind and body are able to get great benefit when at rest.   

In other words, getting into a better sleep routine is really important because sleep is the main time the body has the opportunity to rest and work on healing.

So what happens during sleep?

Pain management is all about the pain-sleep connection

When we sleep, the body gets to “tune-up” to work on healing from the days activities.  During this resting period is when growth hormones are released, muscles grow and tissues repair themselves.  

The optimal time where the body can work on healing is during sleep.

The more time for healing we can get through sleep can help us to get relief from pain symptoms.  To read more about ways to support better sleep please go here.

Step 5 Relaxation practices for Pain Management

One way to really help in working on an improved sleep schedule is to introduce relaxation exercises. This includes guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and other mindfulness based practices.

In case you want to try guided meditation, please sign up for my monthly newsletter here where you will receive a Free Guided Relaxation Audio called The Beach.

Progressive muscle relaxation is another relaxation practice that is popular.  With progressive muscle relaxation you create tension in the body and then relax that area, starting from the feet and working your way up the body.  Many people enjoy using this technique as they get ready for sleep.

These different relaxation techniques promote calmness in the body which are great pain management tools.  This is because they reduce stress and body tension.  Less body tension helps to reduce overall physical discomfort.  Another benefit is that these relaxation methods also also known to improve mood and resiliency.  

Step 6 What are you eating for pain management?

More research is pointing to the connection food choices has on body inflammation and physical pain symptoms.  The inflammation in the body has been shown to increase physical pain in the body, and increase the chances of developing anxiety and depression.  

Luckily there are foods that are known to reduce inflammation which also aids in pain management.  
If you are thinking about making dietary changes, then please consult your doctor.
  • Certain foods are known to contribute to inflammation while others are known to reduce inflammation and pain symptoms.
  • Some of these diets are: the Autoimmune Paleo Diet, FODMAP, SCD, and the Low Histamine Diet.

Step 7 Seek Support for Pain Relief

Turning to friends and loved ones when needing support can be incredibly powerful when feeling overwhelmed by physical pain challenges.
Simply having someone to talk to who is willing to hear what you have to say, helps in coping with the pain.

Why is this?

  • This is because emotional pain and physical pain are connected.
  • Feeling alone and misunderstood by other can add to the emotional discomfort people can have.
When we spend time with supportive friends and family though, the painful feelings can be lifted or reduced and the physical pain can also become less.

This is why social interactions with those who offer compassion and support can be a key part in managing pain.

Daniela Paolone
 

Daniela Paolone LMFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of Westlake Village Counseling in Westlake Village, California. She helps those working through pain, illness, depression and anxiety either in the office or through online counseling which is done using a secure platform to ensure client confidentiality. Using education, helpful resources, unconditional support and understanding, she strives to help people transform their pain into power so that they can live their best lives!

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