You have been seeing your pain doctor monthly to get medications and get different injections to treat your pain. Suddenly, your pain doctor is not available to see you personally in the office. What can you do now? With social distancing mandates, physical therapy, chiropractic and massage therapy may not be an option right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are several ways to relieve pain at home:
- Take a warm bath – the heat from the bath is very relaxing and will loosen stiff joints and muscles. You can add Epsom salts or essentials oils to help even more.
- Stretch and loosen up your body: Even though many are confined to their homes, you can still do some stretching exercises for your back and neck as well as your other joints. Bob DeLillo, DNP can go over some common ways to relieve your pain using stretching.
- Get some sunshine! If you have a backyard and its sunny, go out for a bit. You will still be socially distancing, but the sun exposure can replenish Vitamin D3, a vital component of pain management. Just 15 minutes of sun is sufficient to get what your body needs. Sunlight can also help with your mood.
- Get enough restful sleep – its important to have good sleep habits. Reduce use of electronics and television prior to going to bed. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Your body heals mainly during sleep.
- Apply ice packs – cooling down swollen painful areas will reduce inflammation. Apply a pack for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes.
- Essential oils – either as aromatherapy or applied to the skin, peppermint oil, rosemary, and lavender are very useful to help with pain.
- Exercise: it can release your own endorphins, increase energy, and generally improve your mood. You don’t need any fancy equipment. Many exercises can be performed with a chair, standing, or sitting.
- Go for a walk: getting some fresh air may be helpful, however, please maintain 6-foot distance between you and others.
- Mediation and visual imagery: imagine yourself on a warm beach or whatever makes you relaxed and calm.
- Anti-inflammatory diet: Check out the article on this type of diet here.
- Heat pack: If an area is painful, but not swollen, you can apply a heat pack.
- Talk to someone: talking to someone about what you are going thru may help.
I’m not saying that doing these things will take place of your pain doctor, chiropractor, masseuse, or physical therapist, however, every little bit helps. In the meantime, the experts at Southwest Pain Management are still here for all or patients new or existing thru phone calls and telemedicine to address your needs, concerns, and pain management. Due to the relaxing of the rules of prescribing pain medications by Texas and the DEA, we can temporarily prescribe them after a phone or telemedicine visit every 30 days during this pandemic.
AUTHOR: Dr. Robert Groysman, MD