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Managing Post-Op Pain at Home: Non-Medicine Relief

Woman relaxing in chair with eyes closed.

Medicines are not the only way to manage pain after surgery. Try the following techniques instead of pain medicinen or to lower the amount of pain medicine you need.

Visualization or guided imagery

Visualization helps take your mind off the pain:

  • Close your eyes. Breathe deeply.

  • Picture yourself in a quiet, peaceful place.

  • Imagine how you feel in that place.

  • If other thoughts enter your mind, take a deep breath and try again.

Progressive body relaxation

Relaxation helps relieve stress and pain:

  • Close your eyes. Clench your foot muscles.

  • Hold for a few seconds. Release.

  • Repeat with the muscles in your calves.

  • Work slowly up your body, tensing and relaxing different muscle groups from your abdomen, chest, arms, neck, and face.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing relaxes your whole body:

  • Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply.

  • Hold your breath for a couple of seconds.

  • Exhale through your mouth slowly and deeply.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jonas DeMuro MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Wanda Taylor RN PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2019
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