Living with Pain? 4 Ways to Manage Pain That Might Surprise You

When you experience constant or chronic pain, you'll try anything to get relief. These four strategies for pain management may be unusual, but they can be the perfect complement to traditional medications and medical therapies. If you're living with pain, think outside the box with one or more of these ideas. 

Let Out Your Inner Artist

Art therapy is a way of managing mental and physical illness through visual art. Patients are given supplies to create a painting or sculpture and are encouraged to express themselves in a creative way. If the person is in too much pain to actually create the art, the therapist will complete the art project under the patient's direction. 

Art therapy can decrease pain and other symptoms of illness. Science Daily reported on one study of cancer patients that found a significant decrease in symptoms related to their illnesses, including pain, after participating in art therapy. The researchers hypothesized that the decrease in symptoms was due to stress relief. 

If you enjoy creating art, consider art therapy as a way of fighting your pain. 

Get Spiritual

Many people turn to religion or spirituality when health takes a bad turn. Spiritual belief and practices can create a sense of calm in the body that may help with pain. Practices like prayer and meditation allow patients to focus on breathing, repetitive movement, and mental presence. 

The National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association cited a study showing that mindful meditation, such as prayer, helped patients decrease the intensity of their pain. 

Many religions also include social interaction. Spending time with supportive people can give you a more positive outlook and help you cope with your pain. 

Take a Yoga Class

The stretching, breathing, and meditative aspects of yoga are all useful in managing pain. When you practice this form of exercise, you are becoming more physically healthy. Yoga poses are designed to make your body stronger and more flexible. This often has a dramatic impact on pain. 

Yoga is different from many other forms of exercise because the practice of yoga focuses on relaxation as well as physical fitness. Dealing with pain is stressful, and the anxiety, frustration, and helplessness tend to cause the pain to seem more significant. Relaxation can free you from this cycle. 

Adopt a Pet

Did you know that having a pet can help you manage your pain? WebMD explains that caring for pets can actually lower your blood pressure and reduce the release of stress hormones produced in your body. Pets offer a special, unconditional love that provides relaxation and peace. 

Owning a pet can give you a reason for getting up in the morning, even if you don't always feel like it. Pets encourage you to move and also help reduce your stress, and caring for a pet can take your mind off your own troubles. All of these things are factors in decreasing and managing pain. 

Living with pain can be extremely challenging, and patients often find success in reducing or handling pain through a combination of strategies. When dealing with your own pain, consider what makes you feel calm and relaxed or what brings you pleasure. Whether you find peace in your faith, relaxation through yoga, a sense of tranquility in creating art, or joy in the love of a pet, you can use those positive aspects of your life to help you handle pain. 

Talk to your doctor about pain-management alternatives or ways to supplement traditional therapy for pain, and open to your mind to possibilities that may seem unusual. Unless you try different approaches, you will never know what works best for you and your body. These four non-traditional strategies for pain management can get you started on developing a plan that works specifically for you. 

Visit sites like to find pain-management practitioners near you.