Health & Wellness Articles

29 Proven Methods to Manage Aches & Pains

Self-Care Tips from Chronic Pain Sufferers That Really Work


11. "I like to use a heating pad on sore muscles for 20 minutes at a time. This is especially useful before bed."

12. "Move more instead of lying around. I've realized that the more I move, the better I am able to move. The more I lay around, the more pain medicine I take because I become stiff and sore."

13. "I was having trouble standing up straight so I started using a  massager with infrared heat and it really worked!"

14. "I started working with a psychologist on  biofeedback. It's helped me control and reduce pain without drugs."
15. "Pain relieving patches that you put right on a painful spot provide relief. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using these products.

16. "Pilates has really helped me stretch and strengthen my body and prevent back pain."

17. "It's often overlooked, but a restful night's sleep of 8 or so hours really helps reduce my over pain and discomfort levels." 

18. "Limiting chocolate, cheese and wine really helped reduce my migraines."

19. "There are a variety of homeopathic tinctures (Belladonna, Solomon Seal and Teasel) that can help reduce the severity of my daily headaches as well as ligament pain." Please talk with a licensed naturopathic doctor or herbalist about what might be best for you and if there are any concerns when taking other prescription medications.

20. "I rub a small drop of peppermint oil behind my ears. It really has provided a natural option for my headaches and migraines."

21. "Reducing sugars in my diet helped me relieve joint pain."

22. "Remember that everyday 'irritants' can make chronic pain problems worse. Be sure you are wearing properly fitting shoes and bras. Carry a purse that is ideal and doesn't cause pressure on the shoulders (Ameribag is good) and pay attention to what you are sleeping on at night. A Sleep Number bed has worked for me but others say a TempurPedic works well, too."

23. "Making sure my diet had enough micronutrients like vitamin B-12,vitamin D omega-3's and magnesium has been really helpful to my pain control."

24. "Exercising in the morning helps warm my body up and relieves overnight pain and stiffness."

25.  "Practicing yoga and tai chi addresses exercise and stress reduction and helps me move in a gentle way to reduce my pain."

26. "Learning meditation techniques like walking meditation and practicing them daily has really improved my pain and discomfort."

27. "Make laughter a daily goal. Laughter can help reduce the body's ability to feel pain. ."

28. "Regular stretching increases flexibility and helps relieve pain."

29. "I've worked to avoid bending down (to tie a shoe, load the dryer, pick things off the floor, etc.) and it's helped me reduce the amount of back pain I experience (due to herniated discs) immensely. Bending from the spine puts a lot of pressure on the discs and can aggravate the back. Instead I make a conscious choice to squat or lunge instead of bending forward."

What holistic or surprising tricks have you found to reduce pain? Share your tips in the comments section!

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  • I exercise every single day doing a number of stretching moves in order to ease back pains due to sciatica. Just 6 to 7 minutes religiously every morning, and I'm pain-free for the day! - 8/7/2014 3:24:26 AM
  • I think it depends on the type of pain you are walking around with. I have arthritis which can have good and bad days. The thing that has really helped me is when I do my PT on a regular basis and seeing my massage therapist at least once a week. - 8/5/2014 3:09:03 AM
    One more comment -
    I am an overweight person, so I should be able to say this with minimal offense. A major contributor to pain is carrying too much weight for your frame. It puts additional stress where it wasn' t meant to be. So, weight loss could definitely help pain management. Sadly, if you go to a doctor, that is often the ONLY thing they focus on and a number of other options could also be contributors. But don't overlook this one.

    Okay, one MORE comment, lol.

    Are your legs the same length? If they aren't the same length, every step you take contributes to possible back pain. Measure their length with a measuring tape from your belly button - or better yet, have somebody professional measure it for you. Even 1/4" can make a difference, and you can do a simple remedy of wearing an insert in your shoe to create balance. - 8/4/2014 2:46:09 PM
    I've had serious ankle pain for 10 years (5 surgeries, most recently a complete ankle replacement). For people with pain from walking on an injury, most people will tell you to stay off of it. Well, you can't do that for 10 years. My advice is to baby it when you must, but for the most part, get on with life and do whatever is normal as much as possible. If you sit and focus on the pain, the pain is worse. If you get up and get on with it, your mind doesn't think about the pain - and it may as well not be hurting at all. Of course, that has to be balanced with not overdoing it.

    My other big tip - and I discuss this often with family - is to address your sleeping position. Sure, a good mattress is important. But so is the way you position yourself. If you sleep on your side and throw one leg over, your hips are out of alignment with your back and voila you wake with back pain. If your shoulders are hurting, that could be from pain radiating from the neck, so you need to provide proper neck support with your pillow. I find that a VERY thick heavy king sized pillow is wonderful along your back (much like the back of a couch) and another one is good as an arm support to assure your shoulder is not being slumped forward and causing pain. - 8/4/2014 2:41:03 PM
  • Thankfully, Essential Oils and herbal remedies work as well! - 8/3/2014 9:38:45 PM
  • Homeopathy does not work. It is diluted to such a degree that there isn't any of the ingredient left. It's basically water. - 8/3/2014 10:58:46 AM
  • There is so much good information here. Thanks to everyone. - 8/3/2014 5:43:42 AM
  • After tearing my shoulder muscle, and also after the repain surgery, I found that the TENS was a big help.
    Also I have found that moving joints that hurt (in a manner that does not put stress), and stretching have helped me tremendously, both with my shoulder, and also with my bad knee. - 8/3/2014 5:30:47 AM
  • I first read this article in early April, and did not truly believe that any of these would work for me. I had been very inactive for a long time due to severa ailments. It had also become clear that the only way to control my blood sugar or choleserol levels was physical activities. I had avoided stronger pain medications for years and was ready to give in, just so I could excercise. I was often afraid to move - I thought it would make it worse. That"s why I decided to just keep moving. When I have to sit with feet elevated (due to lower leg swelling) I do "butt dancing" or keep moving my arms. When I am seated at the computer I strecht as I type. I started wih the 10 minute challenge and had to do it 100 steps at at a time (I figured out that 3 trips down my hallway and back was equal to 100 steps. Yesterday morning when I woke up I realized hat I was pain free. This does not mean that the neuropathy, osteoarthritis, shoulder impingement or RLS has gone away - it just means that I can move and not make it worse. I truly believe that you must "Move or Lose It". - 7/4/2014 8:09:28 AM
  • Very useful ideas. Everybody has a mishap now and then. - 4/6/2014 11:03:38 AM
  • Thanks Sparkers for all of the helpful info! I've had Neuropathy for about 5 years & no doctors, including specialists, know why. Their best guess is that it may have been caused by being pre-diabetic & as I lose weight it will hopefully go away! I am excited to talk to my doctor about some of these things ecspecially the Tens unit! If anyone has any other ideas for Neuropathy please advise!!! THANKS SO MUCH!!! - 1/10/2014 3:51:46 PM
  • Useful ideas! I especially like the whirlpool soak idea. My husband and I always try to book hotels with whirlpools when we travel (not often enough, alas) and a good hot soak is so comforting. Also great after a workout. My gym has one but it is often packed with people with the same idea. - 12/19/2013 10:03:45 AM
  • At the recommendation of my FNP, I started on an anti-inflammatory diet. I had no idea that food could cause inflammation! I did a lot of research and started the plan. The arthritis in my hands is now almost non-existent and the pain from my recovering knee is very minimal. As a bonus, I've lost 18 pounds. Much better than medication! - 12/18/2013 9:45:12 AM
  • Pain from some rashes can be aleviated by various tricks to cause "nerve confusion". For example, with poison ivy rashes, the itching pain can drive one to scratch - but scratching can introduce infection from dirt and bacteria in your fingernails, or even into your lymph nodes, causing a systemic reaction. Try this common trick - sit or stand in the warmest shower and as you get warm , gradually add hotter water to the areas of the rash and gently rub in circular pattern. Keep rubbing and getting the water gradually hotter and hotter (be careful not to actually burn the regular skin with no rash on it.). After 15-20 minutes you should find the itchy areas finally stop itching enough for you to enjoy several hours of itch free relief (get some rest then so the body can work to fight off the underlying causes of the itch and pain.). - 10/27/2013 1:36:38 AM
  • 5. Laps in pool is fantastic for those that are able to get to one. Nothing like it. Especially a heated therapy pool..for those who have arthritis.
    6. Relaxation tapes get on my nerves...they make me so nervous cause my body refuses to relax when I force it too. Go in a darkened room, just sit back, maybe play some of your favorite slow music and let your body do it's own thing.
    7. Hot tubs maybe OK for some people..but my advice is to check with your Dr. before going in one. At the Health Center where I use to go..I saw people going in one, and thought I 'd give it a try. My body had an immediate was then that the life guard asked if I had high blood pressure or heart trouble or some other stuff...after that they put a sign up warning people with such conditions not to go in.
    8.Personal TENS units are good. for moderate pain..but speaking from personal experience..when the pain is really don't even feel the unit and it no longer works. I set mine to full and can't even feel it, like you should...doesn't help anymore. Even the one in the chiropractors office has to be set high to help a little. So it all depends on the pain level.
    12 . Great for those that can move around...but there are those who the more you move, the harder it hurts and the only way to ease off the pain to bearable is to not move. Simple things like trying to make a quick microwaveable meal, or washing dishes, or putting the dogs out, forget vacuuming the floor..can cause excruciating pain to the point of taking your breath away..which leads to having to take more pain meds.. So all depends on how bad you are.
    14. Biofeedback - for those that can afford it, or have insurance that pays for it.
    15 Pain patches can interfer with certain meds, but sure to ask the Dr. first. Also if the pain area is extensive and spread out over the body, you'll look like a walking patch.
    16.Pilates- Un-doable for a lot of people with different conditions.
    17. Restful nights sleep of 8 hours is fantastic....just tell the body to quit hurting long enough t... - 10/11/2013 5:19:29 PM

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