31st Mar 2022
Around 10 million people in the UK; are believed to experience pain daily. There are many reasons for this, illness, injury, old age, chronic disease like arthritis and obesity, to name a few.
Of course, pain in any form; has an impact on the quality of life, impacting sleep, activities, energy levels and can contribute to depression.
Many people will be under the care of a GP or physician, and hopefully, get access to treatments that help with their pain. But, for many of us, the pain may be short term, perhaps due to a sports injury, or we may not want to take pain relievers. Or maybe a pharmaceutical approach interferes with other medications or is not sensible long-term. So, we look at more holistic approaches that may form part of your approach to pain management.
Acupuncture uses fine needles to stimulate nerves and muscles under the skin; in turn, this allows the body to create endorphins which act as pain-relievers. Usually, a course of sessions is needed. The NHS may offer acupuncture for specific conditions. This Chinese holistic method believes that QI (‘chee’) flow; can be restored, allowing healing.
Supplements: If you are open to vitamins, you may consider Vitamin C which, is crucial for joint health. Adequate levels ensure that your body continues to make cartilage that cushions the joints.
Tens Machines are often suggested for nerve pain or from pain arising from conditions like arthritis. The idea is to create a natural pain-killer (endorphin) in the body via electrical pulses. Essentially the pulse interrupts the brains pain signal.
Headache: In a sitting position, rest your chin on your chest, and put your hands behind your head. Press down for one minute, then rotate to the right for one minute. Back to the centre and then to the left for one minute.
Neck Pain: Find a tennis ball or a foam roller (if you happen to have one for exercise). Get in a standing position against a wall or closed door, place the ball behind your neck and then move; so that the ball rotates and moves all around the painful area. Oxygen from the increased blood flow will go to the inflamed area; to ease the pain and assist in repairing it.
Back Pain: You will need an ice pack and a hot water bottle. Alternate between using the two on the sore area for five minutes at a time. Keep doing this until the acuteness of pain subsides. When recovered, you may want to think about yoga, which can be a gentle way to soothe back pain and prevent re-injury.
Whatever the source of your pain, don’t suffer in silence. Many have battled on, especially during the pandemic. But, now is the time to seek help from your GP. They may suggest methods of pain management that surprise you, such as cognitive behavioural therapy – which by itself won’t medically alter the pain but may allow you to think differently about the pain and, in turn, manage day-to-day life better.
*This article is not meant to constitute medical advice. Speak to your GP before making any changes to your diet, exercise, supplement or medication regimes.
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