Pain is an unfortunate and often devastating symptom many must face when chronically ill. At its worst, pain can leave you on the sidelines instead of living your life to the fullest. Coming up with a plan to manage pain with chronic illness can be a frustrating task, especially when you struggle to find pain relief products that work well. Keep reading to explore 12 different pain management products that I use and love.
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iReliev TENS and EMS Unit
Years ago, my mom purchased this TENS unit to help with her chronic pain. When I started having lower back and hip pain, I started using it too and found it to be super effective for pain relief. This pain management product works by naturally blocking pain signals and stimulating the release of endorphins. This model also features electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), which helps with muscle strength and recovery.
I love this company! I first discovered its products in undergrad when I was running a lot and experiencing recurrent foot pain in my arches (I had no idea at the time that this was a POTS symptom!). Magsoothium products are a blend of magnesium and arnica, which work to naturally reduce inflammation and relief muscle soreness.
I’ve used and loved the Magsoothium spray (with or without CBD), the cream, and the soaking crystals. I ask for the soaking crystals for Christmas because I go through them so fast; I find they help full-body soreness and even help with bad endometriosis cramps.
BioFreeze Professional Gel
This is another type of pain relief ointment, but it’s one that I always have on hand. I’ll use this when I have nerve pain like sciatica or severe aching or throbbing pain. The icy hot sensation from the Menthol provides targeted pain relief, making BioFreeze one of my favorite pain management products. I often use it right before bed because, for some reason, the icy hot sensation helps me fall asleep. Just be careful not to get this in your eyes because it will hurt!
Sunbeam Heating Pad
When you’re stuck in bed or on the couch from pain, a heating pad can help. Heating pads are one of my favorite pain management products for period cramps and random endometriosis pain. This heating pad increases blood flow to tight and sore muscles, effectively relaxing them to bring pain relief.
You can also spray the pad with water to provide moist heat, which studies show provides more pain relief than dry heat. Plus, this model comes with a 2-hour automatic shut-off feature.
Shop Sunbeam Heating Pad here.
Compression Socks and Leggings
Until I received my POTS diagnosis, I had no idea how well compression could work for chronic pain management. The blood pooling that people with POTS experience can cause pain, particularly in the legs and feet. Because compression garments are tight, they can help veins return blood to the heart. This may reduce blood pooling, swelling, and pain.
Vim&Vigr makes my favorite compression socks because they’re available in three levels of compression and come in pretty patterns. For leggings, I like CompressionZ high-waisted compression leggings, which are available on Amazon, because they’re a cheaper alternative to Lululemon (which I also love!). I recently tried a few compression leggings from Amazon, and my CompressionZ pair felt the most compressive in my legs. They’re also buttery soft and not see-through.
Elasto-Gel Therapy Ice Wraps
Quality ice wraps are a staple product for chronic pain management. When acute inflammation strikes, applying ice for 15-20 minutes at a time can help reduce swelling that causes pain. I love these gel wraps because of their flexibility. I can wrap them around my feet, knees, thighs, or lower back. This company also makes wraps in various sizes and shapes, with some options created specifically for certain body parts.
Microwavable Heating Pad
For portable heat-provided pain relief around the house, a microwavable heating pad is the way to go! Whenever I have period cramps, this pain management product is my go-to. I’m always asking Mike to heat it up for me. Its flexible design lets you apply moist heat directly where you need it, even if you need to wrap it around your stomach or drape it over your shoulders. In the winter, I’ll even use this to warm up my bed at night! It’s a win-win!
PureWave Cordless Muscle Massager
If tight and sore muscles make up the source of your pain, then PureWave’s cordless muscle massager may be just what you need. This pain relief product comes with eight attachments, including a trigger point head and a 3D pivot head for joints, so you can best target each pain area. My dad has one of these, and I love to use it on my calves, thighs, and upper trapezius muscles when I visit. I even used to use it on my foot arches!
Slim Exercise Clip-On Pack
Whenever I’d go for walks or runs, I use to hold onto my phone, which played my music. But gripping my phone so hard worsened the pain I’ve been having in my fingers and hands. That’s when I bought this exercise clip-on pack that can hold both my phone and car keys! It clips right onto my waist and can be concealed under my clothing, too. It even has a hole for headphones to feed through so I can listen to my music hands-free. And the best part? No more painful phone gripping and finger stiffness after my walks and runs!
Sunbeam Royal Luxe Heated Throw
There are few things that are cozier than a heated blanket, especially on a cold winter’s day. And when chronic pain makes sleeping difficult, a heated blanket can make you more comfortable and ease tight muscles or achy joints. The Sunbeam Royal Luxe Heated Throw features four heat settings and a 4-hour automatic turn-off timer so you can fall asleep without worrying about it staying on all night. Plus, its plush fabric makes for a soft and cozy pain relief product you won’t want to unwrap yourself from.
Sof Sole Shoe Inserts
Wearing shoes with hard soles is the quickest way to make my foot pain from POTS blood pooling worse. But what if a pair of shoes or boots are too cute to pass up? Try swapping out their hard insoles for a pair of softer ones instead! My favorite brand is Sofsol shoe inserts. I put them in my favorite winter boots, and they also provide more comfort for your feet in high-heeled boots. Walking on these inserts is like walking on marshmallows!
Instant Hot Packs and Cold Packs
What if you’re out and about and pain strikes? On top of keeping Advil or Tylenol in my purse, now, I often bring hot or cold packs with me in my chronic illness day bag to help ease cramps. These are small enough to fit in most purses or bags, and all you need to do is pop the bags to activate them. These hot and cold packs are must-have pain management products!
Shop Hot Packs here.
Shop Cold Packs here.
What pain management products work the best for you? Do you have a specific type of pain that one pain relief method works better for? Drop your thoughts in the comments below and let me know!