How to reduce pain


To reduce pain, and guests on the have discussed several strategies:

  1. Psychological and Behavioral Tools: Engaging in distracting activities like reading or spending time with friends can help shift attention away from pain. Pain psychologists may use techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction to teach skills for managing pain and calming the sympathetic nervous system 1.

  2. Physical Approaches: Mechanical interventions like rubbing the area of pain, applying pressure above and below the site, or even swearing can reduce pain through neural pathways that inhibit pain 2 3.

    Mindfulness and Pain Management

    Andrew and Sean discuss the effectiveness of attentional distraction and meeting pain head-on as strategies for managing chronic pain. They explore the brain networks involved in distraction and how it can significantly reduce pain.

    Huberman Lab

    Dr. Sean Mackey: Tools to Reduce & Manage Pain
  3. Temperature Modulation: There is a link between temperature and pain relief. The use of heat or cold packs on injuries and understanding the right time to apply each can be beneficial 4.

  4. Supplementation and Nutrition: While specific supplements were not mentioned in the clips, maintaining general health through proper nutrition can contribute to pain management.

  5. Medications: There are over 200 medications available for pain, though very few are FDA-approved specifically for pain. Medications borrowed from psychiatry, neurology, and cardiology can be effective 5.

For more chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, which may involve a lack of inhibitory signaling in the brain resulting in whole-body pain, emerging therapies like red light therapy and exposure to sunlight may be explored as potential treatments 6.

Please note that these are not recommendations, but rather discussions of various methods explored within the podcast. It's important to consult with healthcare professionals before trying new pain relief methods, especially when considering medication or supplements.