One of the most difficult things about living with
lupus is the chronic pain, but there are ways to ease the pain.
The first things people normally consider when they
have pain are pain-killing medications, but it is important to realise
that they can be addictive, & other ways of easing pain should
be considered. TENS machines are completely safe & can be very
effective in controlling pain, they are available for hire &
also to purchase, it might be better to hire one first as they aren't
suited to everybody.
Distraction can help take our minds of pain, try
something like watching TV, listening to music, & hobbies.
Rest is a very important factor in pain control,
you don't have to go to sleep, just sitting or lying down for a
short while can help reduce the pain. But guard against the
tendency to resume activities straight away after a rest has eased
the pain, take things easy for a while afterwards to give your joints
& muscles a rest.
Heat & cold treatments can be beneficial. Cold
has a numbing effect from a few minutes to a few hours. Heat
is soothing & helps promote muscle relaxation. Be
careful if there are circulation or sensation deficits.
Imagery is a useful defense in pain control.
Imagining the discomfort while relaxed & using thought
to destroy the problem is a proven method. An example is to
think of a headache as a spot on a fabric. The spot is attacked
by an enzyme detergent & disappears. Do this 15 minutes
two or three times a day while listening to relaxing music. It
becomes more effective with repetition. There are also many
relaxation tapes on the market that can be very helpful.