Pain relief without pain relief - How to deal with Chronic Pain every day

Pain relief medication can have its own set of side effects depending on what is happening for you. Having a slow digestive system means I am limited in the types of medication I can take, although I am lucky to be under an incredible pain specialist, so I have had to fill my tool belt with some great alternative pain relief tools. So here is a list (surprise surprise) of my favourite, most effective pain relief options.


Heat Packs

Heat packs are probably my most often used form of alternative pain relief. They work wonders on sore muscles, period/pelvic pain and digestive pain. I'm sure we've all used heat packs at some point but one of my favourites has to be the Spoonie Society Wrap Around Heat Pack because I can walk around home freely but still have a heat pack working its magic.


12 Hour Heat Packs

These.Are.Everything! I was first introduced to these at the hospital and looked everywhere for them for almost a year before finally finding these at Chemist Warehouse (you can also find them on their website here). These babies come with a breathable wrap with two spots for the compatible heat pads that you wrap around your tummy. The heating pads last for twelve hours and you can move the wrap to anywhere on your tummy or back so easily while you're on the go. Plus it is super inconspicuous! It is life changing. Don't walk, run.


TENS Machines

Okay, I know I seemed pretty hyped about the 12 hour heat packs but anyone who has crossed paths with me in the last few months has most likely heard me rave about TENS machines, In particular the Noha Kit by Ovira. TENS machines, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, are a non invasive pain relief system that use low voltage electrical current to provide sweet, sweet relief. I am actually considering doing an entire post focusing on the magic that is the TENS machine. If you have any form of chronic pain I would highly recommend doing some research in to these beautiful machines. I had this unit by Omron for about 8 months before I decided to get the Noha kit as it is smaller and more portable but would honestly recommend both depending on your needs. I feel we need to move on but please let me know (through the comments below, Insta, email, Facebook or carrier pigeon) if you would like an in depth post on TENS machines.


Ice Packs

Ice packs are a must have for me when I have a migraine or headache. I normally use a big ice pack at the nape of my neck and this nifty eye ice pack thing over my eyes. I got the eye pack from a local shop but have seen them all over the place and get most of my larger packs from the chemist.


Massage Roller and Ball

Okay, so you've tried heat, ice and TENS machines but nothing has quite hit the spot? Maybe you feel like you just need a massage but can't get in to your favourite masseuse? Get yourself a massage roller or spikey ball and start rolling! My favourite roller is the Double Roller by lululemon, it is going to get in to muscles you didn't even know you had! For more trigger point stuff, get yourself a spikey ball from your local physio. Lululemon actually have an affordable set of three balls that you can find here that are also amazing (not recommended for dogs)! Youtube has thousands of videos on how to rollout and do trigger point work on different muscles and if you want specific help, definitely see a professional. Which brings us to my next point...


Physio and Exercise Physiologists

If you have an injury or any sort of chronic pain I can not recommend seeing a physio or exercise physiologist enough! Having someone work on your specific needs is incredibly valuable and can help to speed up recovery or create a better quality of life for you. I used to work for a physio and some exercise physiologists and was always so impressed by their passion for helping people and the changes they made to their patients' lives. I bloody love my physios!


Exercise

Secondary to working with allied health professionals of course is incorporating some sort of movement in to your day. I have been a member of The Cocoon, an online community created by the incredible Ella Pascal, since its inception in late June 2021. Ella is a talented yoga instructor and massage therapist and has created the Cocoon to bring sustainable and accessible self care practices to each day. The Cocoon has meant I move every day, even if that is a short meditation and some gentle stretching. If you are limited in your movements I cannot recommend it enough. Most importantly, I think, is to find a form of movement and exercise you love. Before I got too sick to do any high intensity exercise I used to love group training, boxing, dog walks and the occasional boogie. Do what makes you feel happy and powerful.


Pain can be debilitating but it doesn't have to take over your life. Reach out to your doctors for help and talk about options that can help you manage your pain and live your best life. What are some pain relief methods you have found helpful in the past? I would love to hear from you, I am always looking to build my pain relief bucket.


You've got this,


Maddy xx

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