How to Support Medical Pain Relief at Home

in Pain Management / February 24th, 2023

If you’re undergoing physical therapy or a pain management program, you do your best to follow your recovery plan, whether you’re at the doctor’s office or at home. By following some lifestyle tips and protective measures, you can support your recovery and healing in between appointments.

How and When To Address Pain And Discomfort

Usually, if you’ve had an injury, you know how to handle it. But if you’ve had an injury or condition, you may experience lingering pain or discomfort following treatments. That doesn’t mean you have to suffer, anxiously waiting until your next appointment. You can effectively manage and reduce your pain and discomfort, often without medication. While lifestyle changes may help, they’re not a substitute for medical intervention. Keep your physical therapist in the loop, to ensure you’re not causing additional damage, or if any emergencies develop. They may even have their own recommendations.

The Benefits of Cold and Heat

Both cold and heat methods can relieve pain and discomfort, applied up to 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Cold slows blood flow, numbs pain, and reduces swelling and bruising. It’s best for newer, acute pain (less than 6 weeks), like sprains. But heat can increase acute injuries’ inflammation and delay healing. Apply heat, like warm water (92-100°), for lingering injuries, such as back spasms. Besides increasing blood flow, it relaxes tight muscles, relieves aching joints, and improves joints’ range of motion.

Enjoy Exercising

Heat is recommended before stretching or exercising at home. While this may seem strange when you’re in pain, for chronic conditions, such as arthritis, physical activity relieves pain and reduces mobility. You should go for gentle aerobic activities, like walking or swimming. You may also benefit from the gentle movements of yoga and tai chi.

Make the Mind-Body Connection

Mind-body techniques, including meditation and mindfulness, help you regain a sense of control over your body. They can also allow you to lessen the “fight or flight" response, reducing any chronic muscle tension and pain.

Tamp Down Pain with TENS Therapy

Consider transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation {TENS}, a small, battery-powered device that delivers low-voltage, non-invasive electric currents through electrodes. It can block or change your perception of pain, both acute and chronic.

Rest and Relaxation

Following treatment, balance out physical activity with rest and relaxation, as it may improve your mood, decrease chronic pain, and reduce inflammation. Sleep is also when your body refreshes itself and heals, including your immune system. If you can’t sleep, at least elevate affected joints while reclining. You can provide added comfort and protection to specific joints and problem areas by wearing a brace or splint.

Schedule a Pain Management Consultation

Following treatment, you may experience pain and discomfort. But should they impact your quality of life, you may consider medical interventions and lifestyle changes. The interventional pain management doctors and physical therapists at The Spine & Sports Health Center can help. Schedule an appointment at one of our Hoboken, Jersey City, or Bayonne, NJ locations. We’ll discuss your concerns, evaluate all contributing factors, and design a personalized treatment plan.

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