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Pain Management Tips for Sudden, Acute Pain

August 6, 2018


Pain Management: Coping with Sudden Pain Flare-Ups

Acute pain can be debilitating and surprising. Unlike chronic pain, acute pain usually comes on suddenly and lasts for a short period of time. Usually, acute pain is sharp, and it may build quickly. It may be associated with chronic illnesses or injuries that you already have which flare-up and cause severe discomfort. Speak to a trusted medical professional if you experience a new acute pain, and let them identify its cause and some strategies that can help.


Knowing the source of pain and using strategies to manage it can make even sudden and acute pain more bearable. Read on to learn some helpful tips for mitigating your pain, and remember: if you experience acute pain, it’s best that you speak with a professional.

#1. Keep Moving 
For some pain flare-ups, you do not need to abandon the physical activities that you once enjoyed.  In fact, some movement may help you work through your pain and improve your condition, so you can reduce the experience of pain now and in the future.  Speak to your pain management specialist about your situation and make a plan for activities that will benefit your health.


Remember not to push your limits too much. Although you may be able to work through your pain, you should pay careful attention to the pain you experience while exercising and stop if it gets worse.

#2. Rest 
Balance periods of movement with periods of rest. Think of rest as another form of exercise, and do it with the intention to be healthy. There may be times that the pain is too debilitating to continue with the activities of the day, and it is necessary to sit down and relax. Rest your body with the intention of being healthy and calm, and you will be better able to manage your pain throughout the day.

#3. Use Hot and Cold Treatments 
Hot and cold treatments can reduce inflammation and help manage pain. Warm treatments will loosen aching muscles, while cold packs will reduce swelling and ease the pain. If you have recurring pain, try experimenting with both hot and cold treatments to determine which works best for your condition.

#4. Practice Mental Diversion 
Some types of acute pain may not be easily treated with movement, rest, or hot and cold treatments. For these tough types of pain, mental diversion can be a way to take control of your experience and feel better. Make an effort to minimize stress and take your mind off the pain with meditation and breathing techniques. For example, a patient with recurring knee pain might benefit from sitting comfortably, breathing deeply, and mindfully relaxing each muscle around the knee, reducing tension and alleviating pain.

#5. Take Note of Your Triggers 
One of the most important things that you can do to reduce pain overall is to identify your pain triggers and learn from them.  Informing your pain management specialist about pain triggers is a great way to develop a comprehensive strategy to manage pain every day. When you notice a sudden pain flare-up, take note of your triggers in the moment, including stresses, mood, diet, and any movements that may contribute. By avoiding triggers and planning ahead, you can reduce your chances of experiencing future pain flare-ups.

Talk to a Pain Management Specialist 
Haven Physical Therapy offers a full spectrum of strategies for managing pain, from intensive physical therapy to mindfulness techniques that you can use at home. Our team of skilled experts is here to help all patients feel better and live well, every day.  In addition to physical therapy and pain management services, Haven Healthcare also offers hospice care, home healthcare, and caregiver services. To learn more, contact us at (417) 731-7094.

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