Quite often, one of the first questions a mesothelioma patient asks his or her doctor is, “Will I be in pain?” Unfortunately, pain is often a part of cancer and cancer treatment. There are a number of medications that doctors can prescribe to help patients cope with cancer pain, but some patients also look to more natural solutions. There are a number of drug-free ways a patient can deal with pain: here are just a few of the many options available to cancer patients today.
When a person experiences pain, it is normal for his or her body to become rigid. This natural reaction to pain tightens the muscles and can actually increase pain. Many cancer patients find comfort and pain relief from gentle massage. The soothing motions and warm touch of massage also help to soothe the nerves and help a patient become better emotionally equipped to deal with discomfort.
Gel packs are often supplied by physical therapists. They are small pouches filled with gel that can be heated or chilled, according to the type of pain the patient is experiencing, and they are wonderful for helping to alleviate localized pain.
It’s not uncommon for a person to experience anxiety at the thought of pain or in response to pain. Relaxation techniques like hypnosis, guided imagery, tai chi, and even breathing techniques can help calm and soothe cancer patients in pain.
When a person has been ill or in bed for a prolonged period of time, immobility can lead to pain in the muscles and joints. A physical therapist at home or at the hospital can help a patient get moving again, relieving stiffness and giving the patient something to focus on other than his or her discomfort.
Petting a soft animal has been shown to calm patients and help them forget about their pain. In fact, a number of hospitals and nursing homes now offer pet therapy on a regular basis after noting a marked improvement in the pain and attitude of patients who cuddle with a pet for even a few minutes.