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How to Manage Pain After Surgery

Cropped hands of surgeon stitching patient in operating room at hospital after arthroscopic surgery

Though surgery is often recommended as a means of relieving pain from an injury or to treat certain medical conditions, it’s a solution that comes with its own set of problems. From the loss of appetite and fatigue to nausea and limited mobility, there are a lot of side effects of surgery that you must learn to cope with. Of all of these, however, pain and discomfort are often at the top of the list. Depending on the type of surgery you received, the pain can last long after the procedure is finished.

Prescription Meds Provide Relief

As pain and surgery often go hand in hand, doctors often prescribe their patients prescription pain medications to ease their discomfort. While they can be instrumental in helping to relieve pain, prescription-grade pain medications come with potential problems as well. Prolonged use of these medications can cause stomach and liver problems. They can also be very addictive. For this reason, it is important that you use your medications only as prescribed. You should also stop using prescription painkillers after some time to avoid becoming addicted.

If you or someone you know has become addicted to prescription meds, it is imperative that they get help from prescription drug rehab in Orange County or in a convenient location as it can be a very difficult habit to break on your own.

Meditation to Ease Tension

When you’re tense your muscles automatically tighten up causing more pain and discomfort. An effective way to ease the tension is to learn how to practice deep breathing through meditation. As you feel yourself getting tense take a few moments in a quiet space to rechannel your energy. Close your eyes as you inhale and exhale deeply. Try doing this for 10-15 minutes for relieve.

Hot and Cold Compresses

Inflammation is one of the biggest culprits of pain. To reduce inflammation you can utilize hot and cold therapy. You can heat up some towels with warm water or use a heating pad and place it on the area that is causing you pain and discomfort. Leave it there for 10 minutes or so, and then switch to a cold compress like a bag of ice, cold towels, or an ice pack for a few minutes. You can repeat this process as many times as you need for relief.

Get a Soothing Massage

There’s nothing like a good rubdown to relieve pain. If you’re able, head to a nearby massage parlor for a deep tissue massage. Ask the therapist to focus on the areas of your body that are hurting the most. The techniques used help to ease tension and kinks, reduce inflammation, and lower levels of stress. If you can’t go get a massage, have your significant other, relative, or friend to give you a quick massage. Incorporate essential oils that help to relieve pain like lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint.

Exercise (As Permitted)

While moving around after surgery may be the last thing on your mind, it is actually a great way to relieve pain. As permitted by your doctor, begin incorporating physical activity back into your routine. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as going to the gym or running for miles, but simple things like taking a walk or stretching can help to reduce inflammation, strengthen your muscles, and increase natural endorphins which ease stress and boosts your mood.

Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep

Studies have proven that those who don’t get as much sleep at night have a lower threshold for pain. Limited sleep also increases the stress hormone cortisol which increases inflammation. When you are sleeping, your body’s natural systems work together to heal and replenish helping you to fully recover from your surgery. So, be sure that you’re going to bed early enough to get at least 7-9 hours of rest. If you’re having issues getting to sleep, you can try drinking chamomile tea, using CBD oil, taking a bath before bed, or ensuring you have a comfortable sleep environment (comfy bed, ideal sleep temperature, dim or dark lighting, and limited distractions).

When you suffer from certain medical conditions or have been injured in some way, surgery may be the only effective solution to treat the problem. That being said, surgery does come with side effects like pain and discomfort. Though using prescribed medications can help to ease pain, they too have side effects you need to be concerned with. That’s why it is imperative to know other solutions for managing pain such as those described above. While it can still take time to fully recover, the above-mentioned solutions make the time a lot easier to get through. a