Acute pain is a message from your body; it lets you know that something’s wrong and needs attention. Sometimes, it lets you know so loudly that it’s difficult to ignore. While recovery from serious injury calls for guidance from your doctor or physical therapist, the day-to-day process of dealing with pain isn’t limited to pills with unpronounceable ingredients or flash-in-the-pan health fads.
Take a wider, fact-based view of injury recovery to get back to your better self, naturally.
You Can Always Depend on RICE
No, not that kind of rice (though you could do a lot worse than some fresh sushi when it comes to injury-recovery comfort food). RICE is an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation, a time-tested recovery technique that relieves pain while encouraging flexibility after an injury.
Rest, of course, means avoiding too much activity in the injured area, while the application of ice for about 10 or 20 minutes a few times a day reduces swelling (swap this out with a heat pack once the swelling is gone to relieve pain). Compression — wrapping the injured area firmly but not so tightly as to cut off circulation — reduces internal bleeding and inflammation. Similarly, elevation of the sore spot at or above the level of your heart allows fluids to drain from the injured area.
As it turns out, your mom was right when she told you to put ice on it.
Find a Gentle Strength
When you’re dealing with a lingering injury and the recurring acute pain that accompanies it, Harvard Health Publishing recommends a combination of light, accessible exercise, such as low-impact stretching, yoga or tai chi — along with biofeedback techniques.
Biofeedback is a method of relaxation via focused, meditative breathing that correlates physiological functions (your heart rate, for example) with simple cues, like a blinking light or a soothing sound. Focusing on and modifying these repeated cues helps you obtain a sense of control over your body’s response to pain. A 2017 study in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that biofeedback — alone and in conjunction with other treatments — led to improved pain management over both the short term and the long term.
Light exercise after swelling recedes and wounds are closed offers similar mindfulness benefits and helps relieve the mechanical factors of persistent pain by gently releasing muscular tension, strengthening the musculoskeletal system, reducing inflammation and promoting the production of pain-relieving endorphins.
CBD for Pain
Although CBD is not currently an FDA-approved treatment for pain, researchers are optimistic that evidence exists in favor of cannabinoids to alter the mechanisms of pain. Pain signaling depends partially on the endocannabinoid system, so it’s possible that CBD could make a real difference.
RESET Bioscience’s Balance, a pharmaceutical-technology-driven CBD, is formulated as water-based to help you get the most out of CBD in your water or coffee. Water-based CBD facilitates optimal absorption, which can be up to 80% more than traditional consumption.
Dan has been a freelance writer since 2009. In the health and wellness field, he’s fortunate enough to have collaborated with the likes of Civilized Life, LIVESTRONG, Cetaphil, DermStore and more, with his work appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Seattle Times, Chron Fitness, Healthfully and JillianMichaels.com, among others.