Nearly half of us will suffer at some point in our lives from chronic pain — which is pain that lasts for more than three months. Here, TV’s Dr Hilary Jones gives his tips on how to manage it…
Oral and topical medicines
There are many oral and topical medicines that you can take, such as over-the-counter painkillers. However, these are often not strong enough, in which case, prescribed medicines are needed.
Intense ultrasound therapy
A new device called Actisound uses ultrasound to treat chronic pain injuries like tennis elbow painlessly and quickly. It works beneath the surface of the skin — precisely delivering small thermal ablations to tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissue to stimulate collagen growth and the regeneration of connective tissue.
Acupuncture and trigger point injections
Stimulation of particular acupuncture points can affect areas of the brain that reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.
You can practise alleviating exercises under the direction of a physiotherapist, who will assess your pain and give you a personalised exercise plan to address your particular needs.
Meditation and mindfulness
This can help to focus your mind away from the pain. Studies show that mindfulness soothes the underlying pain of brain patterns and, eventually, these changes can alter the structure of the brain so that patients no longer feel pain with the same intensity.