When you’ve been dealing with an orthopedic condition that causes you to experience chronic pain, you may find that your pain gets in the way of doing many of the things that you want or need to do. Work, fun, and just doing errands can be tough.
Nevertheless, it’s important that you not let your pain take over your life. You need to find ways to treat pain with minimal side effects and appreciable physical benefits. Here are some helpful strategies that you can use to address chronic pain.
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Treat Pain Naturally
Cannabis can be a very effective pain reliever. In contrast to narcotic painkillers, it doesn’t tend to create unhealthy dependencies or unwanted physical side effects. Unlike traditional THC rich cannabis products, CBD products or CBN products don’t create any psychoactive effects. You won’t be zonked out, and you can go about your day as you would normally. While you may feel an enhanced sense of calm or well-being, you won’t be feeling the highs and lows that you do when you use a THC product.
Get Plenty of Rest
While pain can interfere with the quality of your rest, it’s extremely important that you give your body the rest that it needs. When you’re dealing with fatigue at the same time that you’re coping with pain, your body’s resilience and endurance will suffer. Your pain may be exacerbated, and you may experience the onset of acute pain from less activity than you normally would with a full night’s sleep. If you’re having difficulty getting to sleep at night because of your pain, try an all-natural sleep remedy before resorting to a prescription medication. Make sure that you’re sleeping on a comfortable mattress and pillows to help minimize physical discomfort that can keep you up or wake you up at night.
Find Time for Morning Meditation
Pain can be both debilitating and discouraging, so it’s helpful to take active steps to maintain a positive mentality and self-affirming outlook towards the day ahead. Find five or ten minutes in the morning to meditate to help manage your pain and set a positive tone for your day. You can build up to longer meditation times after you’ve made it a regular part of your morning ritual. While meditating, it is important to stay concentrated in order to achieve your goal. Incorporating crystals or sound tools into your practice can help you to stay focused. For example, green crystals are known for their ability to ground and center the user. If you find yourself being pulled out of your meditation by intrusive thoughts, hold a green crystal in your hand and focus on its energy. Stress can be toxic to your body and it can amplify pain, so starting your day with a focus on calmness and mindfulness can have both a positive mental and physical benefit.
Set Reasonable Expectations
If you know that certain activities are going to be too much for you, find a different approach to taking them on. Don’t just try to suffer through it because you think that’s what you have to do. For example, if you need to spend a day at work doing something that you’ll find to be physically excruciating, consider how you might be able to go about the task differently. If necessary, ask your employer for a reasonable accommodation to address your physical limitation. An accommodation may include different seating, ergonomic office equipment, or the option to work remotely when possible.
Be Consistent With Physical Therapy
Even when you’re worried about finishing all that you need to do in a day, it’s essential to still find time to work on your prescribed physical therapy regimen. If you can’t go to physical therapy twice per week, you should try to go at least once per week and be consistent about keeping up with your home exercises. You may be able to complete much of your physical therapy independently with equipment that you can easily use at home such as resistance bands or a foam roller. Physical therapy can take months to have an appreciable effect, so don’t lose patience or give up too easily. You might also consider trying occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can help you learn exercises that will enable you to improve your strength to perform normal tasks with more ease, including things that you need to do both at work and at home. He or she can also help you learn new ways to go about completing tasks differently so as to experience less pain and find strategies to compensate for mobility limitations. For example, he or she may be able to help you find different ways to move or use special equipment.
Wear Kinesiology Tape
While you may have tried a supportive brace to help your condition, you may not have tried kinesiology tape yet. This tool helps you support your muscles and joints without cumbersome gear to wear. The tape affixes to your skin and provides a supportive pull in the right direction. It can be particularly helpful for pain in your neck, shoulder, elbows, or knees. The tape will stay on for a day or two before it will start to come off and you’ll need to apply new tape. While the tape is designed to cause minimal irritation, it’s advisable to remove it with care and preferably in the shower to avoid any itching or abrasion. If you happen to experience any type of irritation after removing kinesiology tape, a tea tree oil or ointment can effectively eliminate it.
Don’t let pain rule your day-to-day life. Find some natural ways to experience relief, stay engaged in physical or occupational therapy regimens, and get a neck ultrasound if you suspect your neck pain might have a deeper cause. Focusing on maintaining your overall wellness and staying active, while working to keep a positive mentality about your day’s agenda instead of becoming preoccupied with dread, can help you take on your days with more confidence and less pain.
And, as a final note, you may also find tinctures to be helpful as they are great for unwinding and naturally boosting mood.