Five Tips for Treating Your Chronic Pain
Chronic pain affects millions of people every day. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, over 20 percent of adults experience chronic pain, and 7.4 percent suffer pain that frequently limits their ability to work or participate in activities. That means that tens of millions of people are living with pain that can impact their ability to earn a living.
But what can those experiencing chronic pain do about it? Below are some tips that could help manage the symptoms, and causes, of chronic pain.
Talk with Your Doctor
Many people live with chronic pain but don’t discuss the matter with their doctor. They may feel there’s a stigma attached to chronic pain and feel uncomfortable raising the topic with their healthcare provider. But a doctor can be a tremendous help in managing pain. They can investigate possible causes of the pain and recommend treatments that could help, such as anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. The right doctor can work with you to understand your symptoms and find solutions that work for you.
Movement Can Help
People who live with chronic pain may feel like they can barely move. Stiff muscles, nerve pain, and aching joints can all reduce movement or sometimes even prevent people from getting out of bed in the morning. But movement, even a little bit, can help.
For example, physical therapists can provide exercises that gradually increase your movement range and reduce painful symptoms. But keep in mind that it’s important not to push yourself too hard too fast.
Use Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat and ice have a long history of managing pain, especially when it’s related to muscles or joints. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, heat can reduce joint stiffness and muscle problems by increasing blood flow to the area. People can apply heat using heating pads or even by dampening a towel with warm water to put on the site of the pain. However, heat shouldn’t be used within the first two days of an injury.
Cold packs and compresses can also help reduce pain in a few ways. Cold can temporarily reduce pain by numbing the area that’s experiencing pain. But it can also have lasting benefits. The application of cold can potentially minimize swelling and inflammation related to an injury. That can help take painful pressure off sensitive nerves.
Massage is growing in popularity every day. That’s because massage can be an effective way to reduce pain and to relax muscles that may be pinching or aggravating nerves. But the type of massage that could help will depend on your pain and your needs.
Massage styles like Swedish massage can help relax you and reduce muscle tension, while deep tissue massage can help release tense muscles and tendons. And for people who have knots or other muscle problems, massage techniques like trigger point massage or myofascial release could help. These massage styles are focused on relieving tension, knots, and seized-up muscles that could be hurting you.
Sometimes, we can help manage pain through our state of mind. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, there is a growing understanding of the link between pain and mental health. A person’s relationship to stress and their own pain could help manage chronic pain.
Techniques such as behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and relaxation training can effectively help some patients manage or even reduce their pain. But the plan that could work for you will depend on the source of your pain and your needs. Talk with your doctor to understand your options and whether behavioral health could be a part of managing your pain.
Contact Us Today
If you are living with chronic pain because of an accident or a workplace injury, contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. now. For over 40 years we’ve been helping injured and disabled workers fight for their rights. We know how difficult it can be to live with pain, and we’re ready to stand up for the benefits and support that you need.
Chronic pain can devastate your life and leave you unsure of what comes next. But the experienced lawyers of Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. are here to help. We can listen to you, answer your questions about benefits, and help you file a claim for your benefits. We work with injured and disabled workers every day. And whether you need help filing a claim with the state of New York, with the Social Security system, or with a private pension plan, we’re ready to take your claim from start to finish.