Don’t expect pain to be effectively managed by your healthcare provider and insurance company if you live in the United States. This is the growing trend fueled by a growing number of drug related deaths. Consequently, the healthcare system is being heavily scrutinized for prescribing too much pain medication. Read the following story from the New York Times (2016).
What can we do to manage pain? There is no quick easy answer but some alternatives – many of which are free and do work.
- Learn deep breathing or meditation exercises. (3 techniques)
- Learn to relax (try yoga nidra or massage or acupuncture)
- Listen to soothing, calming music
- Exercise (helps release pain relieving substances called endorphins; consult your doctor before starting any exercise)
- Cut back on alcohol
- Try natural remedies (e.g., essential oils, juicing, detoxing)
- Try OTC medications like acetaminophen or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
- Sleep (can be restorative on the right bed with the right pillow)
- Diet (eating healthy can help improve the state of the body; learn about which foods can cause inflammation and remove them from your diet)
- Quit smoking
- Socialize with friends and family that have a positive effect on your mood