So you've seen all the doctors and specialists, you've had all the tests—and at the end of it all you discovered that your pain is chronic.
Massage therapy can help relieve chronic pain caused by certain lower back conditions.
Read: Chiropractic Treatments for Lower Back Pain
For many, this is an unfortunate reality thanks to conditions that cannot be easily cured or treated, such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. This type of pain often follows a pattern of low-level discomfort with intermittent flare-ups of more intense pain.
Living with pain day-in and day-out is exhausting and frustrating. But you can limit the severity of your pain—and the effect it has on you—with the following 2 strategies:
1. Become an expert at pain management
Remember that no one pain management technique works for everyone. With this in mind, you need to be open to trying new methods and techniques.
Keeping your pain at a tolerable level will help keep you active, which in turn will minimize your chronic pain and help prevent it from getting worse. Common pain management techniques include:
- Cold therapy
- Heat therapy
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications
- Epidural steroid injections
To find what works best for you, try various combinations of pain management techniques. But be patient, as it may take you several months before you find the right combination of treatments.
2. Practice imagery control techniques
When treating your chronic pain, it is important to remember the powerful role your mind can play in reducing your perception of your chronic pain.
In particular, imagery control techniques can bring you meaningful relief in a matter of minutes. Interested? You can start by trying the age regression and/or progression technique. Here is how to do it:
- It is often helpful to practice imagery control techniques in a quiet, dark room.
- You can begin by imagining a time in your past that you were free from pain.
- Another option is to imagine a time in your future when you will be free from your chronic pain.
- After the image is firmly in your mind, you can simply instruct yourself to act as if this image were true.
A great benefit of imagery control techniques is that you can practice them wherever, and however often, you want. This grants you a level of control that isn't available from many other kinds of chronic pain treatments.
If the above 2 strategies don't help reduce your chronic pain, don't despair. Instead, ask your doctor for a referral to a pain specialist to discuss other possible options for chronic pain relief.