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We recently asked members of SparkPeople.com, the largest healthy living and fitness website in America, how they deal with chronic pain. Here are some products, strategies and insights into what our members rely on that could help you, too.
29 Ways We Ease Pain (that Can Help You, Too!)
1. "A positive attitude, although it is extremely hard to have, is a good start. Having a negative attitude certainly doesn't get us anywhere."
2. "I like to give myself an ice massage. I use a small paper cup to make it easy to hold ice and then apply it with a light pressure for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off."
3. "When I listen to my body more closely, I know when it's time to rest or time to push. This helps me prevent overdoing it, which keeps pain at bay."
4. "Try to take it one day at a time, asking for help when you need it. Each day is different from the next so don't assume today will be bad until it proves to be."
5. "I like to walk laps in a pool as a form of aqua/water therapy and exercise that's easy on the joints."
6. "Listening to relaxation tapes helps me relax and takes my mind off the pain."
7. "Soaking in a hot bath in a whirlpool tub or even a hot tub does wonders. I like to add Epsom, sea salt or ginger to a hot bath as well."
8. "I regularly use my TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit. It's a pocket size, battery-operated device that sends mild electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block pain signals. Some say it can even raise the level of endorphins (natural pain killers) in the body. It does wonders for me!" Note: TENS units should only be used under the direction of a qualified healthcare provider.
9. "Join a chronic pain group for support and ideas. Being able to vent or talk to people who know what you're going through can really help."
10. "Try acupuncture or acupressure treatments. These alternative forms of therapy are becoming more widely used. I was skeptical at first, but found they helped me relax, removed tension and reduced pain."