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8 pain-relieving strategies that actually work

8 non-invasive pain relief techniques that really work

Sometimes, pain serves a purpose, such as when it alerts us to an ankle sprain. However, for many people, pain can persist for weeks or even months, causing unnecessary suffering and impairing quality of life.

If your pain has overstayed its welcome, you have more treatment options than ever before. Here are eight techniques to control and reduce your pain that does not involve an invasive procedure or medication.

1. Heat and cold.
These two tried-and-true techniques continue to be the cornerstone of pain relief for certain types of injuries. If a homemade hot or cold pack is ineffective, consult a physical therapist or chiropractor for treatments that penetrate deeper into the muscle and tissue.

2. Exercise. In chronic conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, physical activity is essential for breaking the "vicious cycle" of pain and decreased mobility. Try light aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling.

3. Occupational therapy and physical therapy. These two specialities can be among your most dependable allies in the battle against pain. Physical therapists direct you through a series of exercises designed to maintain or enhance your strength and mobility. Occupational therapists teach you how to perform a variety of daily tasks without aggravating your pain.

4. Mind-body techniques. These techniques, which include meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises, help you regain a sense of control over your body and reduce the "fight or flight" response, which can exacerbate chronic muscle tension and pain.

5. Yoga and tai chi. These two stretching and strengthening exercises incorporate breath control, meditation, and gentle movements. Numerous studies have shown that they can help people manage pain from a variety of conditions, including headaches, arthritis, and chronic injuries.

6. Sixth, biofeedback. This method involves learning relaxation and breathing exercises with the assistance of a biofeedback machine, which converts data on physiological functions (such as heart rate and blood pressure) into visual cues such as a graph, a blinking light, or even an animation. Observing and altering the visualizations gives you some control over your body's pain response.

7. Music therapy seven. Studies indicate that music can alleviate pain during and after surgical procedures and childbirth. Classical music has been shown to be particularly effective, but there's no harm in trying your favourite genre — any type of music can serve as a distraction from pain or discomfort.

8. Therapeutic massage is number eight. Massage can alleviate pain by working tension out of muscles and joints, reducing stress and anxiety, and possibly by introducing a "competing" sensation that overrides pain signals.


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