Below are some nonsurgical treatment options that can work for you.
In some instances, time may provide relief for your aches and pains. You may consider waiting several months to determine if your condition will improve on its own.
Medicine, in some cases, may lessen swelling and reduce pain, providing symptom relief. The type of medication your physician recommends depends on your symptoms and your level of pain.
If your pain symptoms are mild to moderate, your physician may suggest a non-narcotic drug, like acetaminophen. Symptoms may be relieved by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen products. Aspirin might also be recommended to ease pain.
If your pain symptoms are severe, a prescription non-narcotic medicine may be recommended. Muscle relaxants are also beneficial in reducing pain symptoms.
Relaxation can help you control pain, use your energy more effectively and reduce tension. Since relaxing is a learned response, it takes practice. Initially, you need to set aside specific times during the day to practice. Eventually, tuning into tense, tight muscles and relaxing those muscles will become automatic.
- While lying on your back, bend your knees and move your feet about eight inches apart. Turn your toes slightly outward.
- Scan your body for tension.
- Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose into your abdomen to push up your hand as much as feels comfortable.
- Your chest should move only a small amount at the same time as your abdomen.
- When you feel at ease with the previous step, smile slightly, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth to make a quiet wind-like sound. Your mouth, tongue and jaw will be relaxed. Take long, slow, deep breaths to raise and lower your abdomen. Focus on the wind-like sound and feeling of breathing as you become more relaxed.
- Concentrate on your abdomen's movements, the air moving in and out of your lungs, and the feeling of relaxation that comes from breathing deep.
- Continue deep breathing for five to 10 minutes. Do these exercises one or two times daily for a few weeks. Then, if you wish, extend the time to 20 minutes.
- At the end of each deep breathing session, take time to scan your body again for tension. Compare the tension you feel at the conclusion of the exercise with the tension you experienced when you began.
- When you become comfortable with breathing into your abdomen, practice it sitting or standing when you feel tense.
- This technique allows you to focus on different body parts to bring about relaxation.
- Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes and think of your face muscles. Let them totally relax.
- Then, move on to your shoulders, then arms and hands. Continue to focus on the different body parts allowing each part to relax before moving to the next part.
- Imagery brings you to a relaxed state through pleasant thoughts and pictures.
- Close your eyes and picture a pleasant scene - an ocean, meadow or special place.
- Next, focus on the sights, sounds and smells of the pleasant scene as you relax.
- Use relaxation techniques before beginning a work task and to break up activities that cause excessive fatigue.
- Play soothing music as you work.
- Think pleasant thoughts.
- Take short rest breaks as needed.
- Alternate tasks so you aren't doing one thing in one position for long time periods.
How to Practice Relaxation
Environmental factors to enhance relaxation include:
- Turn down the lights.
- Close the door.
- Be in a room that is comfortably warm and quiet.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
- Keep interruptions to a minimum.