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What To Do (And Not To Do) When You’re In Pain

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Man in pain

Unfortunately, pain is a part of life that we all have to accept. There are numerous reasons why you could be in pain right this very second. Perhaps you recently went to the gym and suffered an injury there. Or maybe you have a chronic back problem that keeps producing nagging pain in your spine. Some of you may even suffer from regular headaches or migraines. The point is, anyone can be in pain and there are lots of different types of pain. 

Naturally, your main focus is to remove the feeling of pain from your body. To put it a simpler way: you want to manage the pain. What can you do when you are suffering? Needless to say, there are loads of different solutions to pain management. Likewise, there are plenty of ideas for dealing with pain that should be avoided. 

So, let’s look at what you should and shouldn’t do when you suffer from pain:

Seek medical attention

Even if your pain is minor, you should try seeking some form of medical attention. This might mean you call a doctor or nurse and tell them of your symptoms. In extreme situations, you may be referred to A&E or a specialist. 

The wrong thing to do is to completely ignore the pain and avoid telling anyone. Healthcare institutions exist for a reason: they help people like you deal with health problems. Your pain might be a symptom of a much larger problem. For example, you may experience regular headaches that have been going on for a long time. Informing your doctor of this, and describing your pain, may lead to them booking you in for a brain scan. From here, they could discover that you have brain cancer or a tumor. Thankfully, you caught this early and can have the necessary treatment to elicit a full recovery. If you don’t seek medical attention or guidance, you might never know what’s truly wrong with you. 

Figure out your triggers

One of the keys to pain management is understanding what causes your pain the most. Let’s go back to the headache example: does your head hurt when you’re looking at a screen or exposed to bright lights? Does your head hurt more when you haven’t had much to drink? Does a bad night’s sleep make your head hurt? Slowly but surely, you figure out the things that cause your pain, and this helps you understand how to manage it. It becomes a relatively simple case of avoiding your triggers. Stop doing the things that make you experience more pain. 

For instance, imagine you have chronic back pain that gets significantly worse when you lift boxes or stand still for long periods. After you’ve discovered these triggers, you can stop lifting boxes and avoid standing still for long periods without sitting down and resting. Combatting your triggers won’t cure you of your pain, but it does help manage it and reduce what you feel. 

Take pain relief medication

Ideally, this is something you should do sporadically or for a temporary period. In a lot of cases, you might go to a doctor complaining of pain, and they prescribe you some medication. Two common types of pain medication are anti-inflammatories or opioids. Anti-inflammatories work by reducing inflammation in a pain site, minimizing the pain you feel. Opioids work by interacting with pain receptors in your body, basically convincing you to not feel any pain and to feel pleasure instead. 

When taken sporadically, both can help you deal with your pain. Indeed, a course of medication can help you manage pain while you try to figure out a way to deal with it forever. You should never depend on medication to cure your pain – it will never do this. Avoid taking it for too long as you will develop a dependency that can lead to an addiction. As mentioned by Sunshine Behavioral Health, opioids are particularly addictive because of how they work in the body. So, taking medication can help you manage your pain, but this should only be done in small amounts. It should also be done alongside the other tips on this list, meaning you should find a solution that means you no longer need to take medication. 

Find natural pain relief ideas

One way to ensure that you don’t need to take pain medication that often is by looking for natural alternatives. A natural alternative is anything that helps you reduce your pain without pumping it full of drugs. As an example, chiropractic treatment or massages fall into this category. Getting a massage from someone else – or using self-massage techniques – can help to relieve a lot of muscular or even nerve pain in your body. 

Another common and simple example is heat therapy. Here, you apply heat to the afflicted area of your body in a bid to drive more blood to the area, increasing circulation and reducing pain. Acupuncture is another idea – there are loads of possibilities out there, you just have to look for them. 

Let yourself rest

Finally, the number one thing you should do if you’re in pain is rest! This is particularly important for anyone suffering from musculoskeletal pain. If your back hurts or your joints hurt, you need to give them time to rest and recover. Constantly putting yourself through a normal day might be what’s causing your pain to last longer. Having a few days (or more) to just relax and recover can be all you need to dramatically reduce your pain. 

Pain management can be a very tricky thing to deal with – especially if you’re stubborn! However, the best course of action is to seek medical attention and listen to what the experts say. From here, you can follow any plans they provide you with. You may need to take some pain relief medication, but you should also seek natural alternatives to reduce the need for drugs. Finding your triggers and giving yourself time to rest will also help you manage your pain and make it a thing of the past!

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