Handbook for Mortals : Controlling Pain : Relieving pain in other ways

Although pain medications are useful, there are other methods that help to relieve pain effectively, often in addition to pain medications. Most are pretty harmless, so feel free to try them out and see if some work for you. These include:

  • Heat and cold
  • Massage
  • Electrical stimulation (TENS unit)
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Imagery
  • Acupuncture/acupressure
  • Hypnosis
  • Peer support groups
  • Pastoral and spiritual support

"... he was moribund and screaming... I had no morphine... I finally instinctively sat down on the bed and took him in my arms, and the screaming stopped... He died peacefully in my arms a few hours later. It was not the pleurisy that caused the screaming, but loneliness."

-- Archie Cochran, from "One Man's Medicine".

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Handbook for Mortals book cover Copyright © 1999, 2006 by Joanne Lynn. This extract from the Handbook for Mortals by Joanne Lynn, M.D. and Joan Harrold, M.D. is used with permission. To learn more about improving care at the end of life visit the main web site for Americans for Better Care of the Dying.
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