The vast majority of people I see in the clinic aren’t particularly keen on taking pain relief on a regular basis. Here are a few tips for helping to manage pain, be it acute or chronic…
1. Change your posture:
No posture is a bad posture but try to avoid static postures for sustained periods of time. For example, if you’re sitting at the desk, working at the computer or reading for longer than thirty minutes, turn your head from side to side and do some gentle shoulder rolls to help alleviate any aching caused by neck muscle tightness.
Tight knots can develop within muscles causing localised aching. They can also cause nerve irritation resulting in not only referred pain but often numbness and pins and needles. Focus on stretching tight muscles to help target and alleviate any tight spots.
Get up and move around – gentle movement helps to mobilise your joints and soft tissues, helping to reduce any stiffness and tightness, in turn helping to reduce pain. However, balance is important – make sure that you move only within what feels comfortable and don’t overdo it!
4. Spinal mobility:
Lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine pain can often be caused by joint hypomobility. This can be very effectively treated using spinal mobilisations to help reduce joint stiffness. Aiming to keep your spine mobile and flexible with exercise is also important.
If you suffer from a chronic problem such as osteoarthritis, keeping your surrounding muscles strong is important so that they support and stabilise the affected joint. E.g.: if you have knee osteoarthritis, aim to strengthen your quadriceps and glute muscles.
Gentle exercise within what you are comfortably able to tolerate can help to release endorphins which naturally help to reduce pain.
Have a regular massage to promote range of movement and length in tight muscles. Massage can also reduce scar tissue and increase blood flow to help promote soft tissue healing.
8. Seek Treatment:
There are a huge variety of different treatment options available to help reduce musculoskeletal pain. If you are suffering from conditions such as ligament sprains, tendinopathy, bursitis, osteoarthritis etc, ultrasound therapy can be an excellent way to promote healing and reduce pain. Rather than taking pain relief on a regular basis, acupuncture can also be an excellent and drug free treatment to stimulate the body’s own natural pain relieving opioids.