What Can I Do to Help My Pain, Other Than Just Pills?

I hear a variety of this question every day!

And the reason I wanted to start my blog with this question is because I would like to help people have good solid answers with which they can start to help themselves even before they go to a therapist or doctor, and many times can really speed up their recovery process.

Most of the people I see could really have cut down on their recovery time and be back doing the fun things in life… if they had only known how to help themselves sooner. Sometimes they may have been able to avoid having to see me in the first place.. and I would love that… because then I could spend more time with the people who have more serious issues.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be able to help you or anyone, even with the small issues, but I would also love to be able to help you with some good information if it will help you save your hard earned dollars and your time.

So, the question remains… what can a person do to help decrease their pain.

Or is this even possible….without taking a bucket of pills that most of don’t want to take anyway?

The answer is DEFINITELY… YES !!!!

Here are some options for you,

  1. STOP doing what is irritating it
  2. SLEEP
  3. Ice or R.I.C.E.
  4. Positions of Comfort / Posture
  5. Support
  6. Laughter
  7. Forgiveness
  8. Decrease stressors
  9. Healthy foods
  10. Exercise
  11. Music… easy listening, and especially Baroque
  12. Physical Touch

First on my list is to stop doing things that hurt you.

I know that me seem obvious, but sometimes we just don’t believe the mirror or can’t see what is really in front of us… or it takes someone else to help us to see it and say something, maybe a close friend or a counselor.

Here are some common ways we hurt ourselves… and don’t think twice about it:

YOUR SHOES. Wearing shoes that don’t fit, always wearing high heels or your favorite shoes that frankly are just worn out.

NOT GETTING ENOUGH REST. You know you are here if you always wake up and are still tired and you are always saying to yourself… “I wish I had another hour to sleep”.

CONTINUING THAT HABIT…that results in pain… what ever it is….but you keep at it anyway. This might be you always wearing your purse or bag on one shoulder. Another super common way to do this is to keep sleeping in a position/posture and you always wake up in pain. Many of my clients act surprised when I tell them it is not normal to wake up in pain. They will often say to me…. “but it’s normal to wake up in pain because I have a herniated disc”… .or “I had a surgery and it’s hurt ever since then”…. or “well I’m in my 40’s 50’s or 60’s so I’m supposed to be in pain, RIGHT?

But honestly, sometimes these are hard to notice about yourself… since we get used to our habits and surroundings. Even though they are NORMAL for us, that does not mean it is good for us. To help you with this you may try the following to help increase your awareness or to see what is so close to you, but hard to recognize.

  1. Ask yourself what activities you do that cause you immediate, sudden pain.
  2. If your pain is more likely to grow gradually, and seem to stay for longer, try keeping a record for a few days or a week of when you have pain, and the activity you are doing several hours or days before your pain started to increase.
  3. If you are ALWAYS in pain, then when is your pain the MOST and what position or activity have you been doing just prior to it.
  4. Ask a close friend you trust, who cares about you as well as will be honest with you.
  5. Nothing wrong with talking to a therapist to help you track down the culprit(s). That’s what they are really good at… finding the culprits.

And when you find your suspected culprit, try changing that habit, posture, activity or food and see if it doesn’t help you get back on track faster.

Best wishes,


Jeff Rau Physical Therapy
Where Your Recovery Is Our Motivation

P.S. If you would like to talk to a physical therapist on the phone to discuss a problem that is keeping you from enjoing life the way you used to…

Click Here To Arrange a FREE Telephone Consultation »



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