Beat Nighttime Pain

1 out of every 10 of us have spent at least one day in pain during the last month—and 86 percent of us didn’t sleep because of it. Low back pain is the most common cause—frequently joined by migraine headaches, joint pain, aching, or stiffness. Try these tips to prevent pain from disrupting your sleep.

By Ellen Michaud with Julie Bain from Sleep to Be Sexy Smart and Slim

     

  • 7.

    COOL IT DOWN.

    Try a cold pack for 20 minutes once a day. Wrap the area in a towel to make sure the outside of the pack doesn’t touch your skin. Cold packs reduce inflammation and provide a temporary numbing effect.

  • 8.

    HAVE A MASSAGE.

    Schedule one session a week and see how you feel.

  • 9.

    OR TRY ACUPUNCTURE.

    Just keep in mind that it takes six to eight sessions before you’ll notice any effect. This is not a quick fix.

  • 10.

    MOVE.

    Have your doctor refer you to a physical therapist who can design a personal movement program that targets the area in pain. Also, work with your therapist to get an aerobic exercise program that works for you.

  • 11.

    STAY ON TOP.

    Treat pain aggressively early in the day, says Dr. Silver, and you’ll be more likely to control it more effectively and with less medication throughout the day and evening. Play tough girl and let it remain at a low ebb all day and it’s sure to build. Then, when everything’s quiet and you’re lying in bed trying to sleep, it’ll get you but good.

  • 12.

    PRAY.

    A survey by researchers at Stanford University Medical Center found that 62 percent of women under 50 who had pain prayed for relief. Seventy-one percent of women over 50 prayed. The result? Prayer worked in half of those who tried it. Amazingly, it relieved pain just as well as prescription meds.

  • 13.

    SEE THE PAIN DOCTOR.

    If you still can’t get on top of your pain, schedule an appointment with a doctor who specializes in treating pain.

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