Pain patients often feel better when they work to relieve not only their pain, but their fatigue, depression and isolation. Here are some non-drug practices that can help.
• When you stand, rest one foot on a small stool, the bottom platform of a shopping cart or a phone book to avoid back strain. Alternate feet every few minutes.
• Try tai chi mind-body relaxation exercises or jin shin jyutsu, a non-massage form of shiatsu that uses the body’s pressure points to reduce tension.
• Pay attention to your body’s messages.
• Remember the things that used to make you feel good. Brainstorm with your health-care providers about ways to safely adapt and return them to your daily routine.
• Learn how to say no and how to ask for help. Consider assertiveness training and family counseling.
• Evaluate your work area. If you’re on the phone a lot, for example, use a headset.
• Eat foods rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, nutrients that promote new bone growth.
• Improve your sleep habits: Go to bed and arise at approximately the same times every day. Use the bedroom for sleep only. Place a small pillow between your knees.
Sources: Dr. Stephen Borowsky, Jessica Gheer, Penny Rickhoff, American Chronic Pain Association and National Institutes of Health.
Article source: The Arizona Republic, online at http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/arizonaliving/articles/0712pain0712moretips.html