You cannot control the effect of pain treatment. You can increase your chances of success by taking good care of yourself. We collected some practical tips.
Report your pain to your doctor and request pain treatment.
Write down where you are in pain at fixed times and rate your pain. Keep that information in a pain diary.
Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of your (possible) pain treatment and what works or might work best for you.
Try different treatment options (more than once) in consultation with your doctor.
Let your doctor know if the pain decreases, gets worse, or changes.
Is your pain not adequately controlled? Report this to your doctor so that he or she can adjust the dose or prescribe a different treatment.
Take your pain medications exactly as prescribed.
Seek practical improvements or help. For example, does going to the toilet at night cause you great pain? Then rent a toilet chair. Do you feel more pain when lying down? Perhaps a special mattress or pillows can help. Consult your home care store or home nurse on these practical matters.
Tips for nerve pain
Try to avoid things that make nerve pain worse, such as heat or cold, tight clothes, or shoes.
Avoid alcohol, as it can cause nerve damage and make nerve pain worse.
Monitor your blood sugar closely if you have diabetes. Sugar levels that are too high can also cause nerve damage.
Take good care of your hands and feet. If necessary, let a podiatrist help you with the care of your feet, who is someone who specializes in the treatment of foot complaints.
Tips for pain in the mouth and/or throat
The following tips may help to relieve pain in the mouth or throat:
Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after every meal, up to four times a day, with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, or use a menthol-free or mild toothpaste. Do you wear dentures? Then clean it with natural soap. Rinse your mouth regularly with a saline solution. For additional information about good oral care, please contact your dentist, your general practitioner, or the (home) nurse.
Use ice shavings or ice water to numb the pain. Don’t do this if the cold is causing extra pain.
Ask your doctor for pain relief medications if eating and drinking are very painful.
Choose soft, creamy or liquid food. This will hurt less than foods that contain hard pieces.
Avoid hard foods that can damage the mucous membrane such as nuts, hard fruits, crusts, or hard-baked foods.
How a good night’s sleep can help you
Sleeping can soothe the pain. Because the body is completely at rest, you will feel less pain. When you go to sleep with pain, it is more difficult to fall asleep. Good sleep hygiene can help you fall asleep better and sleep longer.
A few tips:
Watch your diet. It is best to avoid coffee, alcohol, and sugary products in the evenings.
Avoid busy activities before going to bed, make sure you build in a transition period in which you can relax.
Avoid ‘wake’ activities (eg watching TV) in your bedroom.
Always try to get up at the same time and do not go to sleep until you are sleepy.
How relaxation can help you
Relaxing activities can help you to think less about your pain. Find what relaxes you the most. Maybe that is reading, listening to music, singing or making music, watching television or going to the cinema? Maybe do something creative, enjoy nature, socialize, board games? A warm bath, a sauna, a massage, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, foot reflexology… can also help to relax you.
Should You Try It?