The Chronic Pain Association of Canada identifies chronic pain as pain that lasts at least three months (past the point of a healed injury), intermittent (following a pattern), or persistent (lasting over 12 hours daily). It usually occurs due to an unknown cause, such as surgery or arthritis. Medicinal options should be discussed with your physician. We have found a list of non-medicinal options that could be tried to alleviate chronic pain.
- Massage: Having a friend or partner give you a massage when you feel anxious and before you feel pain can often be a way to provide relief.
- Exercise: This is a great way to build strength and endurance, as well as release endorphins – your body’s natural painkillers. Yoga, Tai Chi, and swimming can be gentle options that can relieve pain.
- Posture: Changing your work station to ensure that you are not straining your body can play an important part in pain prevention. Click here to watch Dalhousie University EH&S Office’s ergonomics videos for ideas.
- Topical creams: Topical analgesics may help alleviate pain.
- Hot or cold compresses: Opt for hot compresses for cramping or aching muscles (from exercise or a build up of lactic acid), and opt for cold when aiming to reduce swelling and inflammation from injury.
- Alternative therapies: Although there is debate in the medical community about the overall effectiveness of these therapies, some individuals have benefited from acupuncture, acupressure, and bio-feedback – all non-medicinal options that could potentially work for you.
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