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Showing posts from October, 2013

NonDrug Pain Management Ideas: Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is another non-drug intervention that can be useful in pain management.  The application of heat is especially useful for muscle spasm, chronic pain (especially back pain) and arthritis, and sometimes, fibromyalgia.

The application of heat relaxes muscles and increases blood flow in the affected area.Before applying, be sure to check skin surface to see that it is dry and free of cuts or sores.  Do NOT apply heat to skin that is damaged. After treatment check for purplish-red skin or hives, which would indicate that the treatment was too intense.

Heat can be applied as either dry heat or moist heat.  The difference between these two methods is that moist heat tends to penetrate the tissues more deeply than dry heat.

Heat should be applied for at least 15 or 20 minutes to obtain some level of pain relief.

Here is a simple method to make your own hot/cold pack:
1) Take a clean sock and fill it halfway with plain dry rice.  Be sure NOT to use instant rice.
    Tie the open …

NonDrug Pain Management Ideas: Cold Applications

Cold therapy has been around since the age of Hippocrates.  You might think of applying an ice pack as first aid for sprains, black eyes, and such, but it also plays a role in some forms of chronic pain.

The application of cold packs to arthritic joints,or pinched nerves for 15 to 20 minutes at a time can provide dramatic relief from those pesky aches.  The cold sensation  has a numbing effect, so pain in the immediate area of cold application is usually relieved for a time.

The cold temperature also causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict, resulting in decreased blood flow.  The decrease in blood flow tends to decrease the inflammatory response in the affected area.

It might be useful to try this the next time you feel that unpleasant ache!

NonDrug Pain Management Ideas: Exercise!

The benefits of exercise to enhance control of chronic pain are well known, but often underused.  There are many types of exercise that can be done to increase the sense of well being...these include, but are not limited to:

Aerobic exercises: aerobics, dance, swimming, walking, running

Weight training: Nautilus type exercises, free weights

Non traditional exercises: yoga, pilates

Not every type of exercise is for everyone.  Many people with pain issues have restrictions on what they can or cannot do.  The basic rule of them is to work within your personal limitations to the best of your ability.

Exercise usually promotes a generalized sense of well being in the individual who chooses to give it a try. This is due to the release of endorphin, a naturally occurring substance that mimics the effects of morphine in the body. Exercise is also a great natural antidepressant and stress reliever. Over time exercise enhances weight loss efforts and control of blood sugar.

As a rule of thumb..sta…

NonDrug Pain Management Ideas: Distraction Techniques

Anyone who has experience caring for children has probably at some point, made use of distraction techniques. They are also common in the public relations world and in politics..but they can also be used to help individuals in the pain management realm. People who are suffering from pain due to most causes can use this technique to get a little short term relief from their pain.

Distraction techniques are many in number.  They include activities such as reading a book, watching a movie, phoning a friend, playing a game, to name a few.  A distraction technique is simply choosing to focus on something other than the pain experience. Ask yourself:what can I do to help myself stay distracted from pain?

For further reading: Chronic Pain Distraction on


All medical information in this blog is merely information - not advice. If users need medical advice, they should consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are give in relation to the medical information supplied on this blog, and that no liability will accrue to the website owner in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.
Post by Marietta LeDonne.

NonDrug Pain Management Ideas: Guided Imagery

This is my first week blogging, so I would like to start off with some ways to help people manage pain that do not require medication.  These are important to know because no matter what medicines you take or don't take, you can employ some or all of these techniques to improve your quality of life.

Today's focus is a technique known as guided imagery. Using mental visualization, a person can guide their thoughts to a relaxed, more positive stress free state.  Everyone has access to guided imagery because we all have the power within to use it.  Guided imagery techniques have been in existence for many years, and their are many resources available to those who are interested in using it. Click the link above to read further information on Wikipedia.

Let's start with a little humor. After all laughter is the best medicine!

Image courtesy