Chronic Pain can be a very frustrating and debilitating condition to manage so I would like to share with you some of the methods I have learnt through personal and professional practice on how best to manage it. It is my hope that anyone who struggles with this may find some of these methods helpful because I know how frustrating this problem can be when it is severe.
Firstly I’d like to identify that there are different types of pain; the type I am referring to here mainly is chronic muscle pain<land fatigue, as I know this can be very difficult to manage and also frustrating when you feel that it is limiting your life.
Although I am referring more to chronic muscle pain and fatigue in this post, much of these methods will also be of help for more short term muscle pain such as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is experienced after heavy gym sessions. The reason for this is these methods will help to speed up the recovery process. It will also be helpful for some other types of chronic pain.
In terms of pain it is very important to identify the role of our perception. All people have different pain thresholds and so will have different coping degrees. However you can also learn to raise your pain threshold through re-focussing your mind. For example when you are focusing on the pain itself it will feel far more painful than if you direct your focus elsewhere.
Stress can also be a major contributor to the perception of pain; this is another reason to take your focus off the pain. If you know that the pain you experience is chronic then, other than painkillers, much of how you perceive it is under your control. This can either be scary or empowering once you have the necessary tools. Our minds respond to pain as a warning sign as this is what it often signifies in the short–term.
To clarify my point here
– The main thing you can do to help yourself once you know this pain is chronic, is focus your mind on something else. All the following techniques I will give you will be an addition to this.
First things first, Eat Well, this is so important I cannot emphasise it enough. The main priorities here are that you need a good balance of food to meet all your nutritional requirements ensuring you are getting enough protein (for muscle growthand repair). Wholegrain carbohydrates (for sustained energy release) and a variety of fruit and vegetables(for micronutrient needs). It is also highly important that you eat regularly so that your metabolism runs effectively. Little & often is best if you can – around every 3-4 hours.
Stretching/ Yoga – This is very important and very helpful when you have muscle pain. By stretching properly you will help to release the tension and that has built up in your muscles and is causing you more pain and fatigue. You only need to do a stretching session for 10 – 15minutes to obtain benefits. Yoga and stretching will also help you to relax and take your mind off the pain.
Although it can be difficult to re-direct your attention when you are in pain. This is very powerful and will benefit your life in every way by allowing you to focus better on the task at hand and be mindful wherever you are. You do not have to meditate for long, just 5 minutes can be helpful. There are lots of different meditation techniques but essentially what you are doing is directing your focus on to one thing (that is not the pain), such as your breath, and allowing all thoughts and distractions to pass by. This will bring you in to a state of peace which can be very blissful and a welcome relief from any form of pain. If you are unsure of which method to use then please contact me and I will happily help you with this.
Massage/ Heat – As with stretching this method will also help to relax your muscles and release toxins. The added benefit here however is it requires no effort on your part other than getting there. Massages can be wonderfully relaxing & therapeutic and are not just for pampering as some may think. If you make it a regular thing such as once a month I am certain you would notice a difference. By heat I mean either using a sauna or having a hot bath – these methods alone will help to release built up tension and toxins. In addition something I would highly recommend that is natural and extremely effective is Epsom salts – You add these to a hot bath and you will almost instantly feel the tension release.
Other methods –
The above methods I would say are the main methods for you to try, However below are some methods that are also useful that you may want to try;
Swimming moderately ( 20-30 minutes is adequate )
Positive thinking and visualisation
Laughter (The best medicine as they say:)
Writing/Art – (this helps you to process your thoughts and feelings)
Understanding your limitations and using necessary tools i.e. A Journal, time management.
Qigong / Tai Chi.
Adequate Rest & prescribed exercise.
EFT– Emotional Freedom Technique.
I hope you have found this blog post helpful. If you require any further help or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me via email/phone. Much of the above has come through my knowledge of holistic health and fitness and through personal experience. If you are unsure in anyway of the causes of the chronic pain you are experiencing, then please consult a medical practitioner.
‘Those who have the greatest struggles have the greatest strength.’