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Managing Pain On A Budget - 4 Tips From A Hamilton Osteopath

As a working adult, you need to be able to work..

However, pain can get in the way and slow you down, and you may not be able to afford (time or money) an appointment with somebody who can help. Fortunately, there are simple tips to help you manage your pain and keep working.

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Note: Seek Medical Advice for Severe Pain Before trying any of these tips, note that severe pain from trauma or symptoms such as night sweats, weight loss, nerve pain, loss of bladder or bowel control, or pain above 8/10 requires medical attention. Go to A&E and don't ignore serious pain.




Tip #1: Use Low-Cost Pain Medication Pain Medication doesn't have to be expensive.

You can find affordable pain medication at a lower cost than expensive brands. The active ingredient in many pain medications is the same, so you can save money by buying the cheaper version. For example, Panadol, Brufen, and Voltaren all have cheaper versions that contain the EXACT same active ingredients.


Tip #2: Modify Daily Activities to Reduce Pain

Many daily activities can aggravate pain, but you can modify them to reduce pain.

Here are some examples:

  • Getting out of a chair/car seat: Elevate the chair to reduce the strain on your back.

  • Picking things up: Try lunging or bending at the hips first to avoid bending your back.

  • Sleeping: If you have back or hip pain, try placing a pillow between your knees while sleeping.

  • Desk pain: Make sure your desk is set up correctly, change your posture often, move around, and use a heat pack on the affected area.

Make a list of things that aggravate your pain, and figure out how to modify them to reduce pain. If you go to see a healthcare professional, bring the list and work through it together.


Tip #3: Take Sick Days Wisely

If work is aggravating your pain, consider taking sick days. In New Zealand, the government has increased sick days from 5 to 10 days per year. Use your sick days wisely to rest and recover, but don't spend the day on the couch. Rest is important, but motion is vital. Try going for a 10-minute walk, do some light gardening, or go grocery shopping. Make sure the activity doesn't worsen your pain beyond a 3/10.


Tip #4: Background Check The Healthcare Professional You Wish To See

Not all healthcare professionals are the same and this is a good thing overall. But if you have limited resources then you will want to book in with the right person first time. Look around, read the bios on their websites and make an informed choice. The Hamilton Osteopaths at TLC have varied skill sets but are all well qualified with 7+ years experience. We are happy to discuss your issues over the phone first so that we can book you with the right osteopath or refer you to the right person. We are ACC registered and work with most health insurers.


Other Tips: Here are some additional tips that can help you manage your pain:

  • Heat and ice therapy: Apply a heat pack or ice pack to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Exercise and stretching: Gentle exercises and stretching can help reduce pain and improve mobility. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.

  • Stress management techniques: Stress can exacerbate pain, so find ways to manage stress such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness.

  • Proper posture: Poor posture can contribute to back pain, so maintain proper posture while sitting, standing, and walking.

A note from us

Managing pain can be challenging. We recommend trialing these tips for 3 weeks. IF you're pain is not coming right then you probably do need to see some one. We are a no nonsense clinic and aim to give you as many tools as possible to manage your pain sufficiently.



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Darryl Jenkins is a friendly Hamilton osteopath and co-owner of TLC Osteopaths. His formal qualifications include a undergraduate certificate in Exercise science from Wintec, a degree in Human Biology from Unitec, and a master's degree in osteopathy from Unitec, where he also completed his thesis on human movement assessment. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in acupuncture from AUT which means he practices osteopathy and acupuncture. He would like to be pursuing the postgraduate certificate in Pain Science at Otago Uni (awaiting spouse approval).


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