5 WAYS TO BEAT PAIN
From back problems to arthritis, here, experts recommend five of the best products for chronic pain.
VIBRATING PILLOW £23.94, sensorydirect.com
‘I OFTEN recommend this kind of thing for my patients with back pain,’ says Dr Vanessa Hodgkinson, a pain management consultant at Spire Nottingham Hospital.
‘Placed over the area of pain, the vibrations can really help, particularly if you need to sit for a lengthy period, say when travelling. The massaging action is comforting and the nerve stimulation from the vibrations may also help distract from or dull any pain signals.’
CHRONIC PAIN DIARY £6.99, amazon.co.uk
‘NOTING down what level your pain is on a scale of one to ten, what triggers it, and how long it lasts on a daily basis allows you to see patterns,’ says Dr Attam Singh, a consultant in pain medicine at The London Pain Clinic.
‘This can help you anticipate and treat pain more efficiently. A diary like this has specific sections to fill in, but an ordinary notebook is fine, too, or you can print off pain diary pages from the internet.’
GOPO JOINT HEALTH CAPSULES
£18.99 for 120 capsules, boots.com ‘SEVERAL well-designed studies involving patients with osteoarthritis have shown that taking galactolipid, or GOPO, an extract of rose hips, can rapidly reduce joint pain, stiffness and reduce the need for painkillers,’ says Dr Rod Hughes, a consultant rheumatologist at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey.
Rose hip extract is thought to be antiinflammatory. ‘While it may not work for everyone, the evidence seems to be consistent. If people wish to try a natural remedy, I would recommend this.’
HEADSPACE APP Free for first ten days, then £5.99 a month, App Store or Google Play
‘STRESS, and its physical effects, such as muscle tightness, have been shown to significantly exacerbate chronic pain,’ says Dr Singh. ‘Following mindfulness and meditation techniques — like those outlined on this app — can help.’
TRIGGER POINT MASSAGE BALL
£5.50, amazon.co.uk ‘THESE spiky trigger point balls can be good for releasing painful tight muscles,’ says Lyndsay Hirst, a physiotherapist and teacher at yourpilates physio.com. ‘Place the ball under the area and roll on top of it until you find the trigger or sore spot. Roll on and off until the pain diminishes.’