chronic_pain_tipsChronic pain can be arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, headaches or any other type of pain that lasts or reappears for more than a few weeks, months or years.

The traditional medical system really has no other answers to chronic pain than prescribing stronger and stronger painkillers. With time, these medications become less effective and the side effectives more severe.

Controlling pain without medication, however, doesn’t have to be difficult if you know the tricks that work. In today’s feature we will list the top 7 ways to stop pain in its tracks, whether you have headaches, arthritis, backache, or most any other painful condition.

Depending upon what’s causing your pain- whether it’s due to a chronic condition or an acute stimulus like an injury- at least one of the items on today’s list will be of benefit to you, so give some a try and find a combination that works best for what’s causing you trouble.

Aromatherapy- specifically, the scent of green apples. Whether it’s from essential oils, a fragrance spray, a candle, or the real McCoy sliced up on a plate, studies show that the aroma of green apple is the most effective scent at eliminating pain, especially from a headache. There are even a number of candies and gums that are green apple-flavored that you might keep in your purse or gym bag.

Play some music- while green apple plays to your sense of smell, music can use your sense of hearing to achieve the same goal. Many people who are having a painful medical or dental procedure done have reported a much-reduced sense of pain when music- the louder the better- is played. Runners often report also being able to go farther with less muscle fatigue when they carry along their favorite tunes.

Pleasant images- the sense of sight can defend against pain as well. Studies show that when people are given a slide show of loved ones or happy memories, the degree of pain they report experiencing when exposed to painful stimuli is much less than those who only look at random images.

Expectation of pain- some people think that if they think something is going to be really bad, it will be a relief during a procedure or painful experience when it isn’t as bad as they expected it to be. Studies show, though, that the opposite is true. A study comparing two groups and their perception of pain was done where one group was told the stimulus would be mild to moderate. The other was told it would be moderate to severe. The result after a stimulus of a heated plate being applied briefly to the skin was that the group expecting it to be more painful reported the pain level as higher than the group expecting it to be minor.

Mind-body connection- Other ways the mind can influence the body is through the mind/body connection using meditation, imagery and deep breathing/total body relaxation exercises. These concepts are nothing new, as they have been used in Eastern cultures for centuries to alleviate pain and stimulate the body to produce natural pain killers called endorphins.

Culture- going to a museum, listening to classical music, going to an art exhibit or any other variation of developing your mind helps to take the focus off the pain and even has the ability to distract the sufferer completely. The brain is so focused on the depth of the mental stimuli that it can ‘forget’ to attend to pain.

Fantasize- Dreaming up a steamy romp (the juicier the better) is another way to get the endorphins pumping on all cylinders. Whether you are imagining yourself on a romantic beach with your honey or visualizing yourself dancing the night away with a sexy, mysterious stranger in a nightclub- the result is that the body appreciates the stimulating energy and stamps the pain away as a result.

More tips on more specific type of pain; choose your condition:

Neck / Back Pain
Migraine / Headaches

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