Pain is a normal sensation. But, if it happens quite frequently, it can cause significant discomfort. Especially if you suffer from chronic and acute pain, you’ll want to make the most of whatever remedies you have to better manage your condition. It can be devastating to have to live with acute and chronic pain. Fortunately, medical developments have resulted in many options for relief. Moreover, these alternatives don’t just provide relief but also help improve one’s overall quality of life.
In medical terms, acute pain refers to the body’s normal response to any medical condition or injury that the patient has sustained. It can be anywhere from a mild sensation to a sharp stab, with the latter possibly affecting how you go about your day-to-day activities.
With that said, here’s a list of the top six ways you can better manage acute pain:
1. TENS Machine
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This is a machine that’s most often used by individuals and health professionals to treat pain. A TENS machine functions using electrodes that send out electric impulses through the adhesive devices attached to the patient’s skin. When the electric impulses reach the nervous system, it may be able to reduce the nervous system’s ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.
This is the reason why the TENS machine can provide multiple benefits to the body, including the following:
- It may treat conditions that bring cause pain like osteoarthritis, peripheral artery disease, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, and tendinitis;
- It may reduce pain by aiding the release of endorphins that are helpful in relieving pain naturally;
- It’s a non-invasive method for pain relief.
Along with its physiological functions, using a TENS machine will help you enjoy the following advantages:
- It can be used at home, particularly for expectant mothers going through early labor;
- It doesn’t need any injections or medication;
- Users who are expectant mothers will have peace of mind knowing that it doesn’t harm the baby.
2. Ice Or Heat Pack
Since acute pain is usually the result of a medical injury or condition, it’s best to immediately control its progress with an ice pack. This can be used directly after the injury to control or reduce swelling. Heat packs, on the other hand, should be used to relieve joint injuries or chronic pain.
An ice pack is a tried and tested household remedy for pain, which is precisely why you should always have one at home. Both children and adults alike can benefit from using an ice pack. To ensure you’re properly using your ice pack to manage your pain, be mindful of these tips:
- Hold the ice pack firmly against the affected area;
- Don’t cool the injury for more than 20 minutes at a time;
- Wrap the ice pack with a towel to prevent it from being too cold, which may also cause further injury;
- Throw away any disposable ice packs after every use to maintain sanitation and hygiene.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
For those who are advocates of using essential oils, there’s one more reason to always keep a bottle of lavender essential oil in your bag or your home. Apart from its more well-known benefit of aiding in improving sleep quality and achieving a calming feeling, the lavender essential oil may also show promising results in potentially managing and controlling acute pain.
How does it work? Lavender oil contains compounds that create a sedative effect and can also relax certain muscles. If you’re experiencing pain where those muscles are, then it follows that the pain sensation will also be reduced. Just be sure, however, that you’re using high-quality lavender essential oil. Otherwise, you might not be able to enjoy its effects as promised.
4. Physical Therapy
Especially for people who experience acute pain due to an injury, your doctor may also prescribe going through physical therapy sessions. These include stretching exercises, walking, strengthening, and aerobic training to reduce pain. Moreover, depending on the location of the injury, going through physical therapy may even improve your mobility.
However, when it comes to physical therapy, you need to be absolutely certain that you’re in the hands of a licensed therapist. Don’t decide on the exercises yourself. If you do, you might cause more harm than good.
Here are other benefits physical therapy can provide your body:
- It may reduce, eliminate, and even stop pain from recurring;
- It may help stroke patients recover better;
- It can prevent falls and improve your balance;
- It may help you manage age-related pain issues.
If you love doing light stretching exercises, then you may also want to consider tai chi and yoga as a part of your pain management routine. Yoga, as you may already know, is a type of exercise that uses a combination of physical postures and breathing techniques. When done correctly with the guidance of a yoga instructor, it may be effective in managing pain brought about by migraine, fibromyalgia, and arthritis, among many others.
Acupuncture may seem like a scary procedure to try out, but those who swear by it are convinced of its potential benefits in managing the onset of pain. It’s a popular form of traditional Chinese medicine where needles are used to trigger specific points in the body. The needles are too small to cause any discomfort, but they penetrate deep enough to trigger potentially beneficial responses from the body.
When it comes to pain, acupuncture has shown promising potential in helping treat the following condition:
- Low back pain
- Knee pain
- Neck pain.
Everyone experiences pain as a natural part of life. But, for those who suffer from acute pain, proper treatment for better pain management is crucial. As you can see from the tips above, there are many ways you can successfully manage acute pain. Above all else, nothing beats a thorough checkup and examination by a doctor or medical professional. Be sure that whatever form of medication you decide to use, it’s recommended by a physician you can trust.