In 2019, 20.4% of adults reported having chronic pain and nearly half of those adults reported that the pain limited their ability to complete some work and life activities.
Do you regularly deal with pain? Is it soreness after a workout or an ongoing issue? What measures do you take to ease the pain? Keep reading to learn more about strategies for pain relief that you can try.
Let’s say that you are struggling with lower back pain. You lifted boxes or shoveled snow the day before and now feel it in your lower back. Applying heat is helpful in this situation, as it will help loosen and relax the tight muscles.
If you applied a cold treatment, it may numb the pain but it won’t help in making your lower back less tight.
Electric heating pads are great to have on hand for these situations. There are also heating pads for one-time use available at most stores that can apply heat to the affected area for a short period.
Cold is typically used to mitigate swelling. If you roll your ankle, you can apply ice to help the swelling go down and feel less pain immediately following the incident. Applying ice to the spot where you got stung immediately can treat even a bee sting.
Cold is also used in ice baths to help muscles recover immediately following a hard workout or game for some athletes. By submerging in the water right after the muscles in the body have been strenuously worked, the recovery can be faster than if that same person went and sat on their couch for the next several hours.
A classic way to remember this is called: RICE. RICE is an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If you ask any athlete or dancer how to cope with a recent ankle injury or strain, they will most often remind you of this method.
By the way, it can seem like an odd thing to put ice on a painful swelling. Somehow we associate heat with being more comforting and soothing. However, it is not always true. Because ice is such a valuable component of a pain-response aid kit, many sports enthusiasts keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. Frozen peas are handy because of two reasons: they are frozen, and their small size makes it easy to shape around a swollen joint or body part.
A little odd, perhaps. Yet, if you find yourself in a sport or activity that has the potential for minor aches and sprains, this is one cost-effective and handy way to be prepared.
Your first thought with a massage maybe relaxation. A true muscle massage is anything but relaxing. The masseuse will work all of your painful areas and attempt to break up the tissue in those areas so that you feel less pain.
While the massage itself can be painful, you are likely to feel better once your muscles have been targeted and massaged for some time.
This is a good time to remind yourself that the massage itself is not causing the pain. A skilled masseuse will help you recognize that the massage is making you aware of your current state of tension. The short-term discomfort of feeling what is going on is well worth the end-result of relaxation.
When working with a massage therapist, be sure to discuss their approach. Some therapists are reluctant to do deep work because the client is not familiar with the process. Other massage therapists are keen to do deep work because they know the rewards are great. By having an open conversation with your masseuse, you can align your goals and their approach. The result? A happier experience and an outcome of feeling more relaxed.
There are endless options for rollers that you can use to help with muscle pain. There are hand rollers, small foam rollers, large foam rollers, and a variety of ball-shaped rollers that are available. The idea with the rollers is similar to the massage; you are targeting specific sore areas and rolling out the muscle until it feels better.
This is best done after a workout or walk when your muscles are already warm. Making this a part of your workout routine can help you get ahead of muscle soreness and not let it interfere with your fitness activities.
In most grocery stores, you will find an entire aisle dedicated to addressing pain. There is an abundance of items to choose from but it is difficult to know what will work for you. Some of the creams that are available smell strongly of mint, which may not be your favorite if you are going to apply it before going out in public.
You can order a CBD topical cream that dissolves directly into your skin and starts working quickly. There are many benefits to using CBD to help with many areas of your health, such as anxiety, sleep, and stress among others.
The last thing that you may feel like doing with sore legs is going for a walk but it can actually help you feel better. Exercising helps to increase blood flow throughout the body and the more the blood is circulating, the faster it can address the painful areas.
Regularly exercising can help you build strength in specific areas of your body. If you find that your calf muscles are always sore after running, you can focus on making those muscles stronger and eliminating that pain in the future.
Many people find that the biggest challenge in exercising is getting out the door. Does that sound familiar? If so, make a date with a close friend to go for a walk, jog, or run. By combining socializing with exercising, you’ll have a higher motivation to get moving.
Feel Better Today
Now that you have read some strategies on how to manage your pain, you can get started today. It is a good idea to always have a heating pad and some ice on hand in your home as a start. Addressing the pain as soon as you start feeling it can help it from getting worse in some cases.