5 Ways to Self-Manage Your Pain Without Medication

self-management of pain Jun 13, 2021
Bathing in warm water helps with pain relief

If you are looking to empower yourself with practical ways to manage your pain that doesn't involve medication then these 5 options below are for you.  Dealing with long-term chronic pain can affect you both physically and mentally and rob you of your quality of life.  Feelings of helplessness and vulnerability are normal if you can't see any solution in sight and pain-relief medication becomes your only option.  Everyone has individual needs and it's all about finding what works best for you personally to enable you to take back control of your life.  By familiarising yourself with a variety of reliable options to manage your pain instead of taking medication, you are empowering yourself to be able to stay pain-free and get back to enjoying your life.

Move, Change, Heal and Become Pain-Free with Pilates

Many people mistakenly believe that "rest" is the best option if you are in pain but unless you are in the acute phase of an injury or have fractured bones, studies have shown that movement and in particular Pilates is highly beneficial for becoming pain-free.  So many of my clients start Pilates with the aim of finding a solution for their pain so they aren't reliant on medication to get through their day.  It's so rewarding for me to be able to assist them to achieve this goal and see them truly empowered by their Pilates training to not only become pain-free but to have the skills they need to manage any future flare-ups.  If you would like to start Pilates take the free 10 day trial and you can start your journey to becoming pain-free now.

Restore Calm with Breathwork, Meditation & Relaxation

Calming the nervous system is one of the first priorities when you are in pain and this is also one of the many benefits of Pilates.  Being in pain creates stress and tension in our bodies, muscles tighten up in response and breathing becomes shallow leading to anxiety.  Deep controlled breathing sends a message to our parasympathetic nervous system which helps to calm the body down, decrease anxiety levels and reduce tension.  In Pilates, every exercise requires a conscious breathing pattern that assists with the abdominal connection but also provides an element of relaxation as well.  This is why Pilates is sometimes referred to as "moving meditation" as it is just as beneficial for the mind as it is for the body.  In addition to Pilates, any form of meditation that involves breathwork and promotes relaxation is highly effective as well, such as Yoga Nidra and guided relaxation sessions.  When practiced regularly Pilates, breathwork, meditation and relaxation can be highly effective in reducing pain levels.

Bathe in Warm Water

Whether you take a warm bath at home, go to a hydrotherapy pool or swim in a heated pool, studies have confirmed what we all knew must be true, that it does wonders for our health!  Floating in water supports our joints and the heat encourages tight muscles to let go and contributes to an overall feeling of well-being and a sense of calm.  Personally, I've found lying in a warm bath with only my face above the water really helps to relieve migraines, especially in winter.  The water should be warm and not too hot and 20 minutes is the optimum time to spend in the water.  If sleep is difficult for you due to your pain, try taking a warm bath shortly before bed as it helps promote a deeper, better quality sleep which will also help to decrease pain levels. 

Follow an Anti Inflammatory Diet

Many painful conditions are caused by inflammation in the body so by following an anti-inflammatory diet you are helping to reduce the inflammation.  Several of my clients have followed specific diets for osteoarthritis and experienced a definite decrease in their joint pain.  One of these clients changed her diet in her 60s and admitted that she had lived on a diet of red meat her whole life and only introduced fruit and vegetables for the first time when she adopted an arthritis diet.  She knew this was a contributing factor to her ill-health.  Her body was demanding she change her ways and even she saw results from an anti-inflammatory diet.  Generally, processed foods, red meat, alcohol and salt cause inflammation while diets such as the "Mediterranean Diet" are ant-inflammatory.  Take a look at the arthritis foundations diet here for a simple and easy to follow guide about which foods are anti-inflammatory.

Lose Weight to Decrease Pressure on Joints and Reduce Pain 

If you are carrying too much weight and you have back or joint pain, you may want to consider losing weight.  This isn't always as easy as it sounds and for some people dealing with thyroid or hormonal conditions, it's extremely challenging to see results in this area.  If this is something that you could work towards and you have knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, for example,  you could see a massive decrease in pain levels. I've seen this with my clients who have followed weight loss programs under the guidance of their GP and the results have been astounding.  Each pound of weight you lose reduces the pressure on the knees by 4 pounds.  It won't reverse any existing damage to the cartilage and overall joint structure but it will prevent further damage and make strengthening with Pilates much easier.  It's not only knee joints that will benefit from maintaining a healthy weight but hip, back and neck joints will also appreciate the decrease in load.
In addition to Pilates, these are some effective ways that both myself and my clients have found to manage pain without relying on pain-relief medication. 
Always check with your medical practitioner before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes in regard to your individual situation.  It's all about finding a reliable method that works for you so you know that when pain strikes you have a tried and tested list of options to help you take control of your health and get back to making the most of your life.  If you have any questions or want to get started with Pilates, please don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected]  It would be my pleasure to assist you on your Pilates journey to becoming pain-free!

If you are ready to take control of your own health and fitness then download your free copy of my detailed guide.

Learn more about what sort of people benefit from Pilates and how it can help you too. I separate the myths from the facts and share actual case studies of my clients who have achieved life-changing results from my unique Pilates program.