When you’re in pain, it is often difficult to think straight. We often avoid movement or treatment and jump straight to the medicine cabinet to attempt to ease the symptoms we are experiencing.
Next time, have a go at trying these few tips to help relieve your pain and get you back to functioning again!
1. Reduce stress
When you are stressed, hormones are released into your body that cause physical tension and increase your experience of pain. Try reducing your stress levels with meditation or doing nice things for yourself that you find relaxing. This will decrease the stress hormones and reduce your pain experience.
2. Release those endorphins
Endorphins act as the body’s natural pain relievers. They interact with opiate receptors to reduce our perception of pain. The release of endorphins also leads to feelings of euphoria. With these two effects combined we experience less pain and decrease the effects that stress has on the body.
Physical activity that gets your heart rate up will release these pain-relieving endorphins into your system. When experiencing pain, the trick is to choose an exercise that your body is able to tolerate. Your physiotherapist or health care professional may be able to help you get on the right track.
Heat works in two ways; it increases the blood flow and oxygen to the damaged area along with suppressing pain signals.
Massage helps to relax and increase the blood flow to your muscles while also decreasing the body’s perception of the pain experience.
5. Stretching and releasing
By stretching and releasing your muscles, particularly around your hips and back, you allow your back to move more freely. Your back loves movement and tight muscles restrict this and may increase the pain you are experiencing.
6. Get some vitamin D
Studies show that people who get the recommended dose of vitamin D, 10-15 minutes of sun exposure per day, are less likely to experience pain than those who don’t.
7. Stay hydrated
Getting enough water during the day is good for you in more ways than one! If you are experiencing back pain, keeping your fluids up will ensure that your intervertebral discs stay healthy and hydrated to allow for stability in the spine and reduced stiffness.