Four Strategies to Help Manage Your Pain
Does pain keep you from doing the activities you enjoy?
Common reasons for pain in adults include injury, medical conditions (i.e. arthritis, cancer, back problems), and recovery from surgery. Pain can be mild to severe, acute (short-lived with a specific cause) or chronic (ongoing, lasts longer than a few months).
While you can manage certain types of pain on your own in consultation with your regular health care providers, for serious chronic pain you should consider visiting a pain management clinic . You may need help from a range of professionals such as a pain management specialist, occupational therapist, or psychologist.
The strategies below are not meant to substitute for medical advice but may help you navigate pain management and communicate better with your pharmacist along the way.
Medication management is an important part of pain management for many people. While alternatives such as physical or cognitive therapies should be explored, sometimes you do need medication to ease your pain.
Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, but over-the-counter medications can be used as well. Your pharmacist can help you monitor prescription use as well as advise you on over-the-counter medications.
A compounding pharmacy like Hawthorne can help make taking your medicine more pleasant and convenient, whether that's improving taste, providing an alternate form of medication, or combining multiple medications into one.
"Sometimes pain medications cause adverse effects—mainly drowsiness or stomach issues—and putting those in topical forms may lessen side effects. If a patient is on multiple medications for their pain, those can be combined into one form, which makes management easier as far as compliance and cost."
—Daniel Painter, Pharmacist
Staying active (as far as you’re able) can help to ease pain and keep you mobile.
Your doctor or pharmacist can suggest appropriate exercises or stretches you can do at home. Physical techniques can work in place of or in combination with medication, depending on the individual.
At home, you can use heat (hot compress, heating pad, hot water bottle) to treat achy muscles or chronic pain, while cold (generally an ice pack) can ease swelling and pain from new or immediate injuries.
In certain cases, you may want to work with a physical therapist or seek out complementary therapies (such as massage or acupuncture).
Not only can pain (especially chronic pain) cause stress, but stress can intensify your pain.
Sometimes pain and stress feel insurmountable, and rather than trying to take on everything at once, it can help to adopt practices that can ease your day-to-day stress.
Where possible, a mind-body technique such as mindfulness meditation or yoga—even for just a few minutes per day—can make a difference.
Steady communication with your health care team (including your pharmacist)
If you’re experiencing new pain due to a recent injury, you don’t have to tough it out on your own. Seek treatment from a doctor or other health care professional who can help identify the root of the problem and get you some relief.
If your existing pain has intensified, don’t increase your dose or add on extra over-the-counter medications without talking to your doctor or pharmacist first.
At Hawthorne, our pharmacists are very knowledgeable and can communicate with your doctor if there’s a problem. We might call your prescriber for insurance reasons (such as if you need prior authorization), if your prescribed medication doesn’t seem to be working for you, or if there’s a supply issue and you need alternatives.
Don’t hesitate to communicate with our pharmacists about your medication and pain management needs—we’re here to help!
Transferring your prescriptions to Hawthorne is easy, and we offer free local next-day delivery Monday through Friday. You can even order medication refills and communicate with our pharmacists through the RxLocal App!