Saturday, November 23, 2013

Top 5 Tools for Coping with Chronic Pain

"The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom." Arthur Schopenhauer

Living with chronic pain is exhausting, and coping with it can be a daily struggle. Admitting that we need help is always the first step to healing. Today I'm going to share my top five tools with you. Every body is different, but these are the "go to" items I use consistently:

1. The Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Massager - This is a tool recommended to me by my physical therapist and costs about $ 40.00 from Amazon. I use it to apply pressure to the painful knots and tension areas that are part of living with Fibromyalgia. There are several good web videos about how to use the device or a similar one called the Theracane. Here's a pic of mine:

2.  Heating Pad/Hot baths - I use heat therapy at least twice a day and on severe pain days, I'll go to sleep on my heating pad that has a two hour automatic shut off. These are easily purchased at almost any pharmacy.

3.  Tiger Balm - Oh how I love my Tiger Balm! It smells minty and pungent, but it gets the job done, especially when I have to drive more than 2 hours. It's sold at CVS and can be found near the arthritis pain relievers. There are different levels of hot and the one I'm showing you is fiery, so be careful. You may not want to start out with Red Extra Strength; the white salve is gentler. Here's what it looks like:

4.  Ice therapy - Ice therapy is my least favorite because I love warmth and coziness -  ice is definitely not cozy. It can be soothing however, and this cute little ice pack I got at Marshall's makes me hate it less.

5.  Pain Coach App from WebMD - This is my favorite new gadget. I've been using this free app for a month now, and it helps me track pain and stay mindful of my body. I tried writing a pain journal for awhile and just couldn't keep up with it. But this little baby checks in with me, and reminds me to record my pain so I can share it with my doctor.

Don't let pain steal your joy and above all else, pray daily for God's strength and help, because he is faithful and wonderful!

"The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."John 10:10 NLT

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