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Learn ways to control chronic pain

Although pain is never welcome, it plays an important role in keeping us safe. When you touch a pan that is too hot, the sensation of pain alerts you to let go before a severe burn occurs. Pain also serves as a warning for sprains, broken bones, illness and many other maladies so that we know to seek the appropriate remedy. In most cases, pain goes away once healing has occurred. However, sometimes the pain does not stop. When the pain lasts three months or longer, it is known as chronic pain.

A common cause for chronic pain is an injury like a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle. Although there are many theories about why the pain becomes chronic, many doctors believe that the nerves are damaged making pain last longer. Anyone can experience chronic pain but there are a few factors that can increase risk including experiencing an injury or accident, undergoing surgery, being female or being overweight. Although it is often not possible to relieve the pain completely, there are ways to reduce the pain enough to carry on with normal daily activities.

Here are five non-invasive methods of controlling chronic pain suggested by Harvard Health.

Change the temperature
The two most common treatments prescribed for chronic pain are applying hot packs or cold packs to the affected area. Generally, cold is used when there is inflammation or swelling, and hot is used for muscle pain or stiffness. Some therapists have had success with treating muscle spasms by alternating heat and cold to the affected area.

Get moving
Controlled physical activity is often effective for chronic pain connected to arthritis or stiffness. The key is to start slow and steady and gradually increase the time and intensity. Consulting a physical therapist will help you decide which exercises can deliver the most relief. An occupational therapist can offer strategies on how to carry out everyday activities in a manner that will not increase the pain.

Team up mind and body
Meditation, mindfulness and controlled breathing are a few mind and body control techniques that have worked for some chronic pain sufferers. Yoga and tai chi are two exercise forms that use a combination of breath control, meditation and movement that have helped some people relieve chronic pain. Other people with chronic pain have experienced success with biofeedback machines, which monitor physiological functions and turn them into visual cues. Watching these cues and responding to them can provide a feeling of control over the pain.

Listen for relief
Research has shown that listening to music can distract you from thinking about pain. Most of the time, classical music is used but if reggae or hip hop work for you, plug in the tunes.

Experience the power of touch
Undergoing a massage can often provide pain relief. A trained masseuse can work the tension out of muscles and joints making you feel less stress and anxiety. The sensation of having the muscles and joints massaged can often override the sensations of pain, providing a feeling of relief.

Get the right care
Having the proper care following a medical event or surgery can reduce the risk of developing chronic pain. A sure way to have the best care during recovery is to choose to recover in a short-term care facility. Whitehall of Deerfield has long been regarded as the premier short-term care provider on the North Shore. Recovering at Whitehall of Deerfield means not having to worry about getting a proper diet, exercise and treatment. An expert staff monitors care around the clock allowing guests to focus on getting stronger. Concerns about whether you are moving too much or too little, when to take medications and how to treat pain are all taken care of by the compassionate staff.

Whitehall of Deerfield offers an unparalleled recovery experience. Guests receive personalized one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies seven days a week from a team of top therapists who ensure patients are getting the best care possible. The physical therapists offer specific exercises to address pain while the occupational therapists provide strategies on how to control the pain during everyday activities. The latest techniques, as well as expert pain management and wound care, are provided to help make the stay as short and safe as possible.

Guests feel pampered at this elegant rehabilitation center by an attentive staff. Guest rooms feature attractive furnishings, WiFi, concierge service, voice mail, in-room dining, Starbucks coffee and snacks, exclusive 24-hour movie channel, delivery of a daily newspaper and more. A gourmet coffee shop and ice cream parlor also offers complimentary baked goods and ice cream treats throughout the day.

For a superior and safe recovery in a luxurious setting, choose Whitehall of Deerfield. Visit www.whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-729-9090 for additional information.

300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600