These are just a handful of basic pain management strategies that are used to help people manage their pain on a daily basis. There are many more tehniques and strategies available, speak to your Physiotherapist about these.
Meditation has long been used to help relax and sooth the mind. Mindfulness meditation is the most well known and most studied. It has been shown to have many medical benefits such as improved mood, reduced stress, improved concentration and improved sleep quality.
To listen to an example of this please follow this link: 9 Minute Meditation
PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF TALK
What we say to ourselves determines what we do and how we look at life. For example, you may come home from work and think, “I don’t want to exercise today. It’s cloudy outside, there’s no one to walk with, and besides, I’ve already exercised twice this week.” Or perhaps you approach the situation from a different perspective and think, “I don’t feel like exercising today, but I know I’ll feel better afterward and have an easier time falling asleep.”
Changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk can be a challenge. Try following these three steps:
- Make a list of your negative self-talk statements.
- Change each negative statement to a positive one. For example, “I’m tired and don’t feel like attending my support group tonight, but if I don’t go I might miss out on some good tips like the ones I learned last month. I can always leave the meeting a little early.”
- Practice positive self-talk. At first it may seem awkward, but you’ll soon discover what a difference it can make.
Guided imagery helps take your focus off your stress and pain, by taking you on a mental journey to a beautiful, safe and pain-free place – perhaps the mountains where you vacationed as a child, the beach where you spent your honeymoon or the tropical island you have always dreamed of visiting.
- Get yourself into a comfortable position in an area that is free from distraction such as noise and other people
- Imagine the place in as much detail as possible
- the sights;
- the sounds;
- the smells; and
- the feeling of the sand beneath your bare feet or the cool mountain air on your face.
- Take several deep breaths and enjoy feeling calm and peaceful. You may choose to go on a journey in this place or re-live only memories that you may be fond of.
This method of relaxation can be used as often as required. It can be further enhanced by using music that you might associate with a particular place or activity.
In progressive relaxation, you progressively tense and relax your body’s muscles from head to toe.
- Begin with the muscles of your feet and calves, moving and gradually relaxing them.
- Continue to move the muscles in your lower leg then upper leg and so on until you have tensed and relaxed the muscles of your neck and face.
- Breathe deeply as you go and remember to move slowly and calmly focusing on the moving muscles only.
- By the end of the session your body should feel heavy and weak.