July 25th marks the start National Pain Week 2022
Chronic pain is one of Australia’s fastest growing medical conditions, with 1 in 5 Australians living with chronic pain. Defined as a persistent pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment, it is a condition that can have real effects on your day-to-day life and your mental health.
The pain can range from mild to severe, and can be described as feeling like a dull ache, throbbing, burning, soreness and stiffness, all the way to stinging, squeezing, shooting and burning. Sometimes, chronic pain begins without any obvious cause, but for many people it starts after an injury or due to a health condition such as arthritis, nerve damage, infections, fibromyalgia, and even migraines.
It may seem like your body will never get better, but there are medical professionals and pain specialists that can help you find relief so that you can continue to live your life by managing your symptoms.
Beyond medicine and physical therapy, some of the other options you can explore are:
This ancient technique has long been recognised as an effective treatment for chronic pain. Needles, heat, pressure and other treatments are applied to certain places on the skin, all working towards activating the body’s own self-healing mechanism. While it’s not seen as the end-all solution to chronic pain, it certainly can be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to solve the problem. Remember, if you’re considering acupuncture, get a referral from your doctor and check your acupuncturist’s credentials.
Boost your chronic pain relief potential with an active lifestyle. Exercise has an obvious pain-reducing effect – it strengthens your muscles and that in turn helps you to prevent re-injury and further pain. More importantly, it can encourage your body to release natural endorphins and improve your mood as it blocks pain signals simultaneously. You may not feel up for a jog or an exercise class when you’re in pain, but your body will thank you for it.
Consider cutting back on alcohol and smoking. Pain makes sleeping more difficult, and alcohol can make sleep problems worse. Smoking can worsen circulation problems and worsen chronic pain. Further, reducing the level of stress in your life can help to reduce the intensity of your chronic pain and promote relaxation.
Why not supplement your physio and OT visits with a quick massage at home. Not only will massage help reduce stress and relieve tension (see above), but it is also something that you can easily do in the comfort of your own space. You may even be able to self-massage depending on where the source of your chronic pain is and use an effective and natural massage oil like 100% Pure Oil of Emu. This has the added bonus of being a fast-acting anti-inflammatory agent, and even has skincare benefits too. Remember – bring your Emu Spirit bottle with you the next time you visit a masseuse, and ask them to substitute their oils.
A Healthier Diet
Supporting your active lifestyle with a consistent and well-balanced diet helps your digestive process, keeps your weight under control and improves your blood sugar levels. Low-fat, low-sodium diets with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, cereals, lean meat, cheese and yoghurt are great options. Don’t forget to add a few drops of Emu Oil into some meals for that added anti-flammatory healing from the inside, out.