Before, during, and after three life changing surgeries, I chose to use a variety of methods* to manage pain. Prescription medication did play a minor role in my recovery plan. Hip replacement is a gruesome and invasive surgery that forever changes the body of the recipient. My physician and surgeon both supported my decision to use opioids very sparingly. After my third revision surgery I stopped using prescription pain medication after nine days simply because I couldn’t stand the constipation, poor sleep quality, and drugged feeling. As a supplement to prescription pain killers, I found that complementary and alternative methods such as acupuncture, Reiki, Guided Imagery, and therapeutic massage were, and continue to be, the most effective treatments to help me sleep, minimize pain, and recover. I function more effectively and am pleased with the quality of life I have today thanks to these pain management tools.
My pain level varied throughout my recovery and varies continually to this day. Chronic conditions and chronic pain are like that…some days are better than others. Each of the methods I discuss here have been documented and well researched (see links added) as safe ways to manage pain. They are also affordable and well worth my time. Some days I can get by simply using ice packs for hip, shoulder, or low back pain. Weekly Epsom salt soaks soothe away my muscle aches, arthritis pain, and the ‘creaky’ feeling known to those of us that live with metal inside our body. Regular acupuncture visits provide me with a ‘tune-up’. I leave an acupuncture appointment feeling calm, inflammation decreased, and with even the most severe pain quieted or often erased altogether. How are you managing pain? Do you have one or more methods outside of prescription pain killers that work for you? Chat with your doctor about any or all of the treatments described above...they just might offer the relief you’ve been looking for.
Be Well! ~Tiffany
*Resource: Chapter 4, Pain Management - Before, During and After Surgery, pg. 65, Butternut to Bionic: A Resource Guide for Hip Replacement Surgery <<Read a FREE excerpt