Pain keeping you up?

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If you are sore, it is unlikely you are going to get good sleep. You see, the chemicals that are created by every painful sensation are in direct opposition to the sleep hormones that we love.

To have pain-free sleep requires two steps:

1. Break the pain cycle

Problem: Pain changes your brain. Over time, chronic pain can actually cause clinical depression. Being brave, refusing to take pain meds and suffering on can result in your brain registering pain that is no longer even there. It is as if your brain gets stuck on a recurring loop... Pain means no sleep, no sleep means more pain and on and on it goes.

Solution: To break the pain cycle, simply take your pain meds as they are prescribed to you by your doctor or pharmacist. If it says take two paracetamol every four hours then you have to do just that. Set an alarm and make sure you comply. Do not wait until you are feeling sore again to pop a pill. Get the pain under control and properly suppressed.

2. Find out what's causing the pain and defeat it

Problem: Pain is a complex problem. It can be from a physical source (like a fall or sleeping on the wrong mattress) or it can be from a behaviour (like over-eating or poor posture). It can also stem from an emotional source (like losing a loved one or feeling anxious about an interview). It can also be caused by a combination of these. Plus, each person's experience of pain is different.

Solution: Try to work out what is causing your pain and pro-actively address it. If it is the way you sit at work that is causing you back pain you may need to get a new desk chair, sign up for some pilates classes and start taking all calls standing up. If performance anxiety gives you a tummy ache, you may need a few sessions of therapy followed by practicing some breathing techniques or  taking a herbal supplement.

It's never too late to do something about your pain. No one is meant to endure pain day in, day out and it's just not good for you.

See what changes you can make on your own but if it continues don't wait. See a pain specialist to win the battle.



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