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Body

Eight ways to beat pain

Try these tips to help alleviate pain and discomfort.

By Donna Fleming
Pain is a signal your body sends you when something is wrong. It’s to prompt you to take action to fix whatever isn’t working, but it is not always that easy.
There are two different types of pain – acute and chronic. Acute pain is usually short and sharp. It’s that sensation you get when you bang your knee on a table or hit your thumb with a hammer. While it can be intense, it usually goes away after a fairly short period. It’s not always due to external factors – acute pain can also be caused by medical issues, like a burst appendix.
Chronic pain is long-lasting and continuous. It can be caused by an injury that lingers, but is more likely to be due to an illness or medical condition.
1. How can I get rid of chronic pain?
The first thing doctors usually do when a patient turns up in pain is to prescribe relief. Medication can help ease the immediate discomfort by blocking the signals being sent to the brain.
Your doctor will then try to figure out what is causing your pain and treat that. That can be easier said than done and, in the meantime, you are left to live with pain that can have a huge impact on your life and may not always respond to medication. Here are some things you can do to try to ease the pain:
2. Relaxation techniques
Pain can be worse when your body is tense and relaxing can help to alleviate it. Practices that help you to relax include meditation and massage.
3. Reduce stress
Negative feelings can increase your body’s sensitivity to pain. Controlling stress and focusing on the positive can make pain less debilitating.
Controlling stress and focusing on the positive can make pain less debilitating.
4. Exercise
It’s the last thing you feel like doing, but if you don’t move your body, you can lose muscle tone and strength, making pain worse. Plus, exercise can release endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can block pain.
5. Distract yourself
Focusing on pain makes it worse. Occupying your mind so you are not thinking about how much you are suffering can make a difference.
6. Alternative therapies
Depending on the cause, alternative therapies can help, including acupuncture and hypnotherapy. Some herbal remedies, including turmeric, can help with pain caused by inflammation.
7. Creative visualisation
This involves visualising different scenarios to over-ride the distress – for example, imagining “bubbles” of pain popped by a pin until you no longer hurt.
8. Superfoods
Some foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help combat pain. These include:
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Ginger
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

Want more health tips? Take a look at this can I drink while on medication? here.

Images: bauersyndication.com.au

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