Pain is what a person says that it hurts: The 10 non-drug ways of dealing with your physical pain.

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or an experience described in terms of such damage (The American pain society [APS], 2003). This definition is the one I used in 2013 when I did research about pain management. However, since that definition may not be easy for all of us, let us understand pain as anything that hurts. This makes pain fit in emotional, spiritual, and physical pain. Our today’s focus will look at physical body pain.

Pain is still one of the main reasons why people will visit a health worker or buy medicine. Actually, a person will reach at a point of dying without visiting a health worker or take any medicine as long as he or she didn’t experience pain during the sickness. And many people will be convinced that they have healed as long as they no longer feel pain. While this may not be so much blame to people, it is blame to a health worker who understands these phenomenons and still goes ahead and deceives the public.

While it is a fact that every pain possibly has its cause, some of these causes are self-limiting (meaning they will heal by themselves without involving any drugs). In these cases, it is important to understand how to deal with pain at home as we wait upon the automatic healing of the cause. After all, you may not tolerate the pain though the cause could be a minor one. So here are the top 10 ways of dealing with your pain minus drug involvement.

1.      Rest.
Resting is different from relaxing. You may not be able to relax when you have pain but you may rest. I mean that you stop what you are doing. Whether it is headache, abdominal pain, chest pain and backache, resting is your number one precaution to take. Most of these pains will automatically subside if you stop what you are doing and have break. Headaches can usually happen due to over-walking, over-reading and other work. The same applies to all the other forms of pain.

2.      Cold compress or warm compress.
Usually, a cold compress will relieve your headache after a long day of walking or working. In pains of our limbs, a warm compress may be better. Actually, a warm compress is used to relieve pain in osteomyletis, arthritis, and deep vein thrombosis. Don’t get bothered with the medical terms used; just know them as diseases that cause pain in our limbs. Get a clean cloth, soak it and keep massaging and compressing the painful part with it.

3.      Massage therapy.
Most of you even know how to do massage better than us the health workers. Actually, massage can cure thousands of pain and diseases just as water does. I got a chance and worked in a medical centre in Mbarara where massaging was one of the great offers for managing diseases and I saw even the chronic diseases that drugs had failed to cure respond to massage. Sleep well on a well organized and smooth surface, and then allow your wife, friend, husband, mother, father or mother move her or his fists and palms on your body. This will take away all the pain in your muscles and bones in the way you never imagined.

4.      Physical therapy and deep breathing:
Physical therapy involves doing exercises. Depending on the kind of pain, you may need to do exercises to cure yourself. For example, pain involving finger and toe joints may be relieved by exercising your fingers and toes. Also muscle pains, neck pains, and backache may need small exercises to go away. Deep breathing allows your lungs to get full to the maximum. It may help with your chest pains and pain in your arms. Also, this breathing keeps your lungs health by minimizing infection and increasing your lung efficiency.

5.      Positioning and relaxation.
Currently, I work in debilitated patients of neuro, haemo and endocrine challenges. One thing that challenges is predicting the right positioning of a patient who is unconscious. While we try to guess this basing on the science we study, I am aware we don’t meet their needs as expected 100%. Most of your neck pains in the morning are probably due to bad positioning of your head or neck during sleep. Also, there are some positions of sleeping that don’t allow your body to relax and when you wake up you are as tired as the one walking. Usually, put a very small pillow if you can’t be without. Recovery position is best during your massage. Let your eyes or face be in line with your whole body position to avoid neck pains. Raising your foot or limb when you have pain in the limbs may help.

6.      Dance therapy, music therapy and distraction.
This is one of the greatest tools to treat pain. The reason is simple; it will treat all kinds of pain. Whether your pain is emotional, spiritual or physical, dance, music and distraction is your medicine. Music takes away the pain in unimaginable way. Actually, music and dance will bring in the physical and social kinds of pain management too. Distraction shifts your attention from the pain to the event you are interested in (e.g Television, movie, or football game). So you have pain, just play the music you love. In my case, that would be country music and rock. Dance where possible and you won’t allocate the pain by the end of the session.

7.      Social support, re-assurance, and education.
You will probably overcome any pain if the close person to you is your beloved sweetheart or mother or father or friend. And when these guys touch where it hurts and whisper, “Sorry dear, it will be ok. It will subside, just relax and eeh, remember, I love you so much and I am with you always”. This sentence is stronger than panadol, effective than morphine, I am telling you. In re-assurance, the victim is told how the suffering doesn’t mean too much harm, that it is just for a moment and will go away if he or she just became a little patient with it. Avoid telling lies when you know well that the pain is a serious one. Education does almost the same. Victims who understand well the cause of the pain they have, the time it will spend and the possible means to relieve it will automatically not get bothered with that pain.

8.      Avoid coldness and other pre-disposers.
Most of your abdominal pains will usually attack you in the evenings or mornings. These could be crump due to coldness and the remedy is avoiding coldness. Carry a jumper with yourself or any other warm cloth in your mornings and evenings. A cup of hot tea may reverse an attacking abdominal pain. Some people get headache when they over-watch movies or over-use a computer, reduce your time on these items. You may also take enough water especially when you are in these areas of work. Cover yourself with a warm blanket or two of them when you sleep.

9.      Hypnosis and therapeutic touch.
Hypnosis is one of the great options used by psychologists to deal with mental and physical diseases of their clients. In Hypnosis, the patient’s mind is used to treat his or her physical pain by taking him into a world of no pains and when he recovers from the therapy, he indeed has no pain. Most people in the community may not be able to do this technique, the reason you should visit your psychologist. In therapeutic touch, both faith and your trust in the person touching you are applied. A simple touch makes the pain-bearer believe in the cure which indeed physically happens. This can, to a lesser extent, apply in the above example of a touch from the person you love so much (see point 7).

10.  Spiritual and religious support.
This is a powerful remedy known to man. Unfortunately, many people don’t believe in it and rarely use it. Thousands of people have received their complete physical body pain healing via prayers and their total faith in the healing power of the superpower they believe in. The superpower can be God or gods though I am not sure of the gods’ system. A prayer offered in faith and spiritual support of your fellow believers or your pastor is likely to treat the most difficult pain even better than drugs. This is my experience. It might have not been an awesome healing of the worst pain so I can show up in news papers but I have overcome many types of pain via a prayer, reading of the bible and spiritual faith in the mercy of God. Many can give you such testimonies, don’t undermine this remedy. Just pray.

Lastly, the above 10 ways don’t represent all that is available for managing your pain. Your doctor or health worker may add or remove some ways depending on your kind of pain, but the above is what is common and affordable by almost everyone. Thank you.

The Complete You Project.


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Born from Uganda, Nemeyimana Vicent (Nemvicx) has become what people call, "coming from nothing to something". Professionally, he is both a nurse and public health officer and currently works with Mulago National Referral Hospital. In 2016, he wedded his wife and great sweetheart, Amulen Winfred (also a professional Midwife and counsellor). Besides their professions, Nemvicx is an inspirational writer, singer, motivational speaker, author of several digital books. He a theologian and blogger at (The Complete You Ministry).

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