21 May 2015

Chronic Pain Management: Does Relaxation Work?

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Pain. Our goal is to make it go away, now and forever. However, some pain is not acute, nor does it go away quickly. Rather, many people suffer from sub-acute or chronic pain, and therefore need ongoing solutions. At Rockaway Care Center, subacute rehabilitiation care services include pain management. What can be done?

Pain can be assuaged or controlled physically – via medication, physical therapy, hot or cold compresses, and the like. Additionally, pain can be affected by the mind, therefore psychotherapy can also be effective. But there is one arena of techniques that requires no medication, and no therapists, just practice and focus. We’re talking about relaxation.

In fact, relaxation techniques are useful for anyone, anytime, anywhere, for stress reduction and overall well-being both physically and mentally. So, if you’re reading this, and thankfully don’t suffer ongoing pain, relaxation techniques can also be useful for you.

Here are three common relaxation techniques for pain relief.

1. Breathing. Put your hand on your diaphragm, and feel your belly expand as you breathe in, and deflate as you breathe out. Now, do so for a count of four deep, slow breaths. You can also envision your breath being directed to the specific area of pain, releasing it. (Note: Speak with your medical caretaker before utilizing a breathing technique.)

2. Visual Imagery. What scenes make you feel serene, appreciate beauty, happy? Just imagining the scenes can make you feel relaxed. Then, picture the scenes themselves actually replacing the areas of pain. That aching wrist? It can be a calm lake – listen to, and feel, its gurgling flow.

3. Drop Your Shoulders and Release Your Cheeks. Feel the difference, instantaneously? By relaxing specific parts of our body, our entire body feels more relaxed. You can even try relaxing the very part of your body which feels the pain, if tensing it makes it worse. Other ways to relax your body include dropping your jaw open, freeing your knees, and lightly opening your fingers.

Pain management is something unique to each individual. At Rockaway Care Center, our goal is for our residents to be able to alleviate as much pain as possible. For most people, relaxation techniques are used in conjunction with an array of pain management techniques, including medicine, physical therapy, and/or psychotherapy. On the other hand, some people find that relaxation techniques are enough for coping with pain. Rockaway Care Center helps you find the best balance for you.
In other news: Memorial Day is this weekend! Read what we wrote last year about this holiday’s history and current observance focus.


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