Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Coping with Chronic Pain, Part 2


In Part 1, I talked about how diet, exercise and natural supplements can help you deal with your chronic pain to make your daily life a little easier.

In Part 2, I am going to tackle sleep, medications and alternative therapies.

(Note: Everyone is different and some of these treatments may not be right for you. Talk with your doctor or health practitioner just to be sure).

If you suffer with any kind of pain, you know that good quality sleep can be difficult to achieve. It is thought that some patients with chronic pain do not achieve REM sleep and therefore, do not wake up fully rested. Better sleep can help improve your mood and reduce pain. There are natural (melatonin and valerian) and prescription (Ambien and Lunesta) medications available that may be helpful. A few other tips include:
  • Sleep in total darkness
  • Avoid stimulation (like the TV or computer) at least 30 minutes before bed time (This has worked best for me)
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day

For some people, prescription medications are a last resort, but they do have their place in treating the pain and depression that come along with your chronic disorder. I am currently taking Cymbalta and Elavil, which seems to be helping me so far (knock on wood). Some other medication that have been shown to be helpful are: Savella, Paxil ,Zanaflex, Flexeril, Ultram and Lyrica

Alternative Therapies
I my experience, I have found many alternative therapies helpful. When dealing with pain, you may need more frequent treatments than a healthy individual and it may take many weeks so notice any changes. The good news is that many insurance providers cover these kinds of therapies. The bad news is that we often need more treatments than our insurance covers, so it can get costly. Here are some treatments to that I have tried, which provided me with some relief:

Have you tried any of these treatment options? Did they work for you? Am I missing something? Let me know by posting below!

Stay Healthy,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I will certainly check out your link. I have also heard good things about trigger point therapy, I will have to check that out.



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