7 Helpful Steps for Pain Management Without Medication (Part 1)

Living life with a high levels of physical pain is something many people experience.  I deal with chronic pain and know how much it can interfere with daily life.  

It is my hope that the approaches shared here will provide options to those who dealing with persistent physical pain.  Common complaints include headaches, backaches or a combination of both physical and emotional pain.   

So what can you do about this?

How can we go about our daily lives so that physical discomfort does not take over and dictate how we operate each day?  

Looking over the first four steps in this article should offer some help.

Step 1 How do you interpret the physical pain?

It is important to know that the mindsets we hold within ourselves can have a powerful impact on the pain we feel.  This is because mental mindset plays a role in influencing our perceptions of pain.

Research shows that a person’s mood and emotions either intensify or reduce the perception of physical pain they are feeling.

This mind-body connection has been very well researched and I will explore this in greater detail in a later post. But for now the main concept is that greater emotional distress is connected to an increase in physical pain symptoms and intensity. 

Step 2 Do more of what makes you happy to reduce physical pain

Well yes I agree this seems pretty obvious so why do I bring it up? Well mostly because by applying this recommendation, you can experience a variety of benefits which are explained below.  

Work-life balance has a critical role in reducing and managing physical pain symptoms.  

On a biological level, when we participate in activities we enjoy, our bodies become more relaxed.   The same happens when we spend time with loved ones who bring us peace and happiness.  This natural relaxation response leads to a reduction in physical discomfort because muscles in the body are no longer tense.

In other words, body tension tends to intensify discomfort while a relaxed body leads to less physical pain symptoms.  

More endorphins are produced.

The other reason it is a good idea to take part in enjoyable activities is because this helps increase the production of endorphins.  Endorphins are a chemical produced in the brain that are known as a natural pain reducers.  While this chemical works its magic in reducing aches and pains, it also delivers feel good properties to improve mood.

The brain can make new connections to support pain management.

The more you engage in preferred activities, the more the brain is able to make new neural connections supporting a happier and more emotionally balanced mind.  So with continued dedication toward doing more of what you enjoy, you are supporting the mind and body in a variety of ways.  

Step 3 Get moving to manage physical pain symptoms

Or move as much as is realistic based on your pain or health symptoms.

Exercise does have many benefits but if you suffer from physical pain then this is something your would likely discuss with a medical professional.  

Exercise routines are specific to each person, especially if they have a health condition.  Finding out what types of exercise benefit you may take time.  Also, consulting with your doctor would be a great idea.

In my case, I know that it is best for me to not participate in high intensity workouts.  Instead, I can take part in a strenuous 30 minute walk.  Anything longer than that would be too taxing on my body and would increase fatigue and body aches.

So what physical activities do you take pleasure in?

Maybe it is a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or a gentle yoga class. Or maybe you decide to go in the swimming pool for overall body support.  Stretching and breathing exercises also can be helpful in getting your physical pain under control.  

Whatever physical activities you can incorporate should help in relieving stress, and tension which in turn will help in reducing physical discomfort.

To read the second part of this article please click here

Daniela Paolone

Daniela Paolone is a Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of Westlake Village Counseling serving residents of California and Wyoming. She helps those working through pain, illness, depression and anxiety using a secure online counseling platform ensuring client confidentiality. Using education, helpful resources, unconditional support and understanding, she strives to help people transform their pain into power so they can live their best lives!

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