Nine Ways to Help Tune-Out Your Pain

By Kaye House-Agar

According to the article, Tuning Out Pain, in Brain & Life Magazine (August / September 2018), there are different types of pain and there isn’t a one size fits all pain reliever.  The different types of pain fall under two main categories: chronic pain, which is pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks, and acute pain, which is a sensation in the body that alerts you to danger or illness.  “Chronic pain is surprisingly common: Approximately 25 million adults—11 percent of the population—had pain every day for the preceding three months, according to the 2015 report funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in The Journal of Pain.”

Treating pain is different for each individual because our bodies all perceive and react differently to pain.  Over the last 20 years, the use of opioids rose dramatically.  In a span of approximately 15 years, more than 165,000 people died from overdoses of opioid painkillers in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We have only recently seen a decline in its use and abuse.  Finding solutions in place of opioids starts with talking to your doctor.  There are other pharmaceutical prescriptions available, as well as combinations of medications. Recent evidence suggests taking various medication combinations including steroids, anesthetics, nerve blocks, topical agents, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory patches and implant therapies help to relieve chronic pain.  For patients seeking nonpharmaceutical solutions to use with their pain medications, the article listed the following nine strategies that are recommended by physicians:

  1. Sign up for physical or occupational therapy
  2. Avoid catastrophizing (a negative mindset can amplify your pain)
  3. Manage your emotions
  4. Consider cognitive behavioral therapy
  5. Incorporate meditation
  6. Keep moving
  7. Sleep soundly
  8. Stay socially engaged
  9. Educate yourself