Sep - Oct 2016

Five Ways to Deal With Pain

By Pamela Shenk, CHt


Chronic pain affects more than 50 million Americans and can be associated with a few diseases including arthritis, nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, shingles, coronary artery disease and more. Sometimes pain persists for reasons that are not known and does not respond well to medication.


But it’s important to keep in mind that pain is one way our body tells us something is wrong and needs attention. Even though the way we deal with pain may vary from one person to the next, we can all agree that it makes us feel uncomfortable. But your first step should be to seek medical advice regarding the cause of your pain.


Acute pain comes on suddenly and has a limited duration. Acute pain could be a muscle or bone injury. On the other hand, chronic pain usually last longer than acute pain and is may be resistant to medical treatment, such as osteoarthritis. Acute and chronic pain can be debilitating and can affect your state of mind.


So how are you going to deal with this pain?

1. Prescription Medication:

One way is by taking the prescription that your doctor has given you. However, studies have shown that 70% of people dealing with chronic pain, treated with pain medicine, still have flares of pain that occur.


2. Watch a funny movie:

Often when you distract the mind, watch a funny movie the pain seems to disappear. Once the movie is over, it tends to come back. However, when looking for relief, watching the funny movie for an hour can help tremendously.


3. Massage:

Depending on the pain you are experiencing as well as the cause, massage may be a great way to reduce the stress associated with pain and in some cases relieve the pain. There are many different types of massage and it is important to go to a licensed massage therapist who will know which type is best based on the pain you are experiencing. Massage therapy should be considered as an adjunct to conventional medical intervention.


4. Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries and is based on the theory that energy flows through the body along pathways called meridians. A licensed acupuncturist will determine what areas of your body need to be released to influence energy flow. The practice involves placing very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. Acupuncture may also relieve the stress associated with the pain. This therapy should be considered as an adjunct to conventional medical intervention.


5. Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is well known for helping to reduce and/or eliminate pain. When considering alternative therapy such as hypnosis, it is important to find a licensed hypnotherapist that may be recommended by your physician and/or affiliated with your hospital. Always consider this as an adjunct to conventional medical intervention.


We are so used to taking a pill for everything. But it is important for you to participate in your own healing process. Ask your physician about using alternative modalities. Your doctor might also suggest attending some light yoga classes or aromatherapy. Remember, you always want to check with your physician first.