8 Tips To Get Rid Of Any Pain
Pain is complex – it’s a really big topic – but the good news is that there are some general rules that form a good basis fro navigating your way out of most aches and pains in the longer term. So here goes…
Rule 1 – If there is no major medical issue assume there is a weakness.
If all your scans and blood tests have come back clear you probably have some kind of weakness in your area of pain. You won’t be too surprised then, when I tell you a major part of the solution is likely to be strength work. The only note of caution is that if the tissues are inflamed they may not respond to strength work without a bit of treatment before hand.
Working on pain is a bit like working on dental issues, sometimes you need to get through the treatment side of things before you go away and work on the big picture. Pain relief methods are an important step towards being able to strengthen your weakened painful areas without risking making them worse.
Rule 2 – Be willing to think outside the box.
If you have been doing the same treatments with the same providers for a long time and you aren’t seeing progress be willing to try out new things.
Doctors are great (mine saved my life once) but the fact is only a teeny tiny part of their training relates to pain management. Physio’s are great but sometimes there is more to pain relief than exercise prescription. Chiropractors are great but not all pain comes from the joints. Osteopaths are great but not all pains will respond to a gentle approach.
Flexibility and open mindedness are essential qualities when it comes to working with stubborn pain issues.
Rule 3 – Start with what makes most sense to you.
The start point of ALL healthcare procedures that involve a conscious and consenting patient are the patient deciding to give permission for a procedure because it makes sense to them.
Find a practitioner who views things in a way that make sense to you and uses methods that make sense to you. If something doesn’t sound right to you get a second opinion .. and and third if necessary. If however you know that you glaze over the moment anyone talks about health the way I do when they talk about IT solutions; find a friend or family member who you know is more clued up than you and ask their advice. Or just base your decision on whether the practitioner offering help seems qualified & sincere.
None of these principles necessarily mean you will have definitely found the right practitioner. There is however a knowing in most people about their pain. This ‘knowing’ means that the majority of us are able to tell when we are being given an accurate assessment of what is causing our pain.
Rule 4 – Assume that there is scar tissue if it’s stubborn.
If you have a chronic stubborn pain in your back, shoulder, knee, foot or hip it is possible that you do not have any scar tissue in that area. SO many people do though… that you are better off assuming that there is scar tissue and finding someone who is qualified and interested in looking into it for you.
If it turns out there isn’t any scar tissue at least you have ruled it out, if it turns out you did have scar tissue, releasing it is often transformative. Countless people with stubborn pain have unseen tracts of scar tissue that form adhesions, irritation and pain in their bodies. The good news is that there are very simple ways of working with scar tissue related pain that are helpful for many of us.
Rule 5 – Keep moving within reason.
Research has shown that people who stay active have less pain, recover faster from pain episodes, handle pain better and even experience less pain internally than their inactive neighbours. The trick to benefitting as much as possible from movement and exercise for pain is to follow my golden rule…
A bit of pain during a workout is okay, a bit of pain after a workout is okay too. If however, you find that a certain activity is leading to an overall worsening of your pain or perhaps increasing your pain for days after the session that’s a sign to back off that specific activity for the time being.
Rule 6 – It’s never just old age.
No matter what age you are and what pain you may have, your pain is not ‘caused’ by your age. There are always a million other people the same age as you who don’t have the same pain. Usually because they have stayed fitter than you, had fewer injuries than you, are less stressed than you or done more rehabilitation than you. The good news is it’d never too late, I have personally seen 90 year olds have legitimate breakthroughs in their lifelong pains.
Even when you are 95 and you have a sore hip, guaranteed there will be other joints in your body that aren’t sore, those other joints are the same age.. think about it!
Rule 7 – Always be as conservative as possible.
This is just common sense, but it’s surprising how often even highly qualified doctors and surgeons overlook this rule. The principle is this, always choose the least risky option with the fewest likely side effects thats available to you.
It makes no sense to take toxic anti-inflammatories which have a long lost of possible side effects if a massage or a chiropractor can give you relief. If there is even the slightest chance that rehabilitation will prevent you from needing surgery try that first, and only consider the surgical option later down the track if you absolutely have to.
Rule 8 – Deal with your stress and trauma.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is now officially part of the international guidelines for managing stubborn back pain. Extensive research has shown that stress and unresolved trauma can play a major role in stubborn pains like back pain. The research is clear, if we add this dimension to our efforts to manage pain we may find major benefits.
The way in which we choose to manage stress and resolve trauma is largely up to us, there are many possibilities. Three possible options that have been very helpful for me personally have been Wim Hof Method – floatation tanks and Hakomi method.
It has been my learning over 2 decades of helping people with pain that for every 1000 people who have been told their pain is untreatable (or who have told themselves that it is un-treatable) there are only a small handful for whom it is actually true. With the right mindset and the right tools the overwhelming majority of pains can be managed in one way or another.
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