13 Ways To Relieve Ache and Pain


What can you do when you feel ache and pain in your body?


Over my 13-year career as a PT, treating thousands of patients over the age of 50, you can imagine how many conversations I’ve had with patients about their aches and pain. 

One conversation that comes up very regularly is when a patient returns for treatment for their shoulder, but when I ask how things are going they say this:

“Oh my shoulder is doing much better, now it’s my back.”  

“My back is great, now my knee is hurting.”

And the list goes on.  Often, like the squeaky wheel that gets the oil, we end up treating one area because it was “worse at the time”.  

When I ask them about getting treatment for their new pain they will say, “Well, it’s not bad enough yet.”

So I decided to put together a list of things you can do on your own or with help to take care of these minor aches and pain. 

All are evidence or science-based techniques proven to help reduce pain and restore function.


stretch1.Stretching and Flexibility Exercises:

   – Why: Stretching enhances flexibility, reduces muscle tension, and promotes a better joint range of motion.

   – How: Incorporate gentle stretching exercises into your daily routine. Yoga, tai chi, and basic stretching routines can be highly effective.


strength2. Strength Training:

   – Why: Building muscle strength can support and stabilize joints, reducing the strain placed on them by weak muscles.

   – How: Engage in resistance exercises like weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance bands to strengthen muscles around problematic areas.


cardio3. Cardiovascular Exercise:

   – Why: Cardiovascular exercise improves oxygen-rich blood circulation, which helps reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve healing.

   – How: Engage in activities like brisk walking, swimming, or cycling for at least 150 minutes per week.


nutrition4. Nutrition:

   – Why: A balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can reduce joint pain and inflammation.

   – How: Incorporate foods like fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), colorful fruits and vegetables (full of antioxidants), and turmeric (known for its anti-inflammatory properties) into your diet.


physical therapy

5. Physical Therapy:

   – Why: Physical Therapists can provide tailored exercises and techniques to alleviate pain and improve mobility. 

Doing so early when the aches and pains are fresh reduces how many visits it will take to get better.  The more chronic the ache and pain the longer the treatment plan usually is.

   – How: Consult a Physical Therapist for a personalized treatment plan.


dry needling

6. Trigger Point Dry Needling:

   – Why: Trigger Point Drying Needling has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

   – How: Seek a licensed Physical Therapist to receive Trigger Point Drying Needling treatments.


7. Massage Therapy:

   – Why: Massage can relax muscles, improve blood flow, and reduce pain and stiffness.

   – How: Regularly schedule massages with a qualified therapist.


Chiropractic Care:

   – Why: Chiropractors can provide adjustments to the spine and joints to alleviate pain and improve function.

   – How: Consult a licensed chiropractor for assessments and adjustments.


9. PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) Therapy:

   – Why: Some studies suggest that PEMF therapy may help reduce pain and inflammation by increasing blood flow.

   – How: Consult with a healthcare professional experienced in PEMF therapy.


10. Red Light Therapy:

    – Why: Red light therapy can stimulate the production of collagen, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue repair.

    – How: Use FDA-approved red light therapy devices or consult a healthcare provider for treatments. This is the challenge.

There are so many devices out there, just be leary of cheap ones.


11. Heat and Cold Therapy:

    – Why: Heat relaxes muscles and improves blood flow, while cold reduces inflammation. There has been more emerging evidence of the benefit of total body exposure to cold (ice baths, cryo chambers for cold, and saunas or steam rooms for heat) than there is for local placements of ice or heat packs. 

If you have any heart conditions, consult your cardiologist before engaging in a cold plunge.  

    – How: Apply a warm compress or use a heating pad for sore muscles and cold packs for acute injuries.    


brain exercises12. Mindfulness and Stress Reduction:

    – Why: Chronic stress can exacerbate pain. Mindfulness practices reduce stress and can alleviate pain perception.

    – How: Practice meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to manage stress.  Another powerful mindfulness practice is daily prayer.  


13. Hydration:

    – Why: Proper hydration helps maintain joint lubrication and reduces the risk of muscle cramps.  This is especially important if you take daily medications. 

Also, I know this makes you have to go to the bathroom more often and that can be inconvenient.  Use the “inconvenience” as a way to get in more steps and squats until you can find a rhythm of how much water and when to drink it. 

This one is so simple and yet so vital!

    – How: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  I recommend getting most of your fluid intake before noon and then tapering down until dinner with very little fluid intake within an hour of bed.


Remember, the effectiveness of these methods can vary from person to person, and it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider or Physical Therapist before starting any new exercise or therapy regimen.

Additionally, a holistic approach combining several of these methods can often yield the best results in naturally managing aches and pains associated with aging.


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For more related and knowledgeable articles:

Read Our Blog: Dry Needling VS Acupuncture

Read Our Blog: Easy Yoga Stretches

Watch our Physical Therapy success stories to learn more about how we helped our patients have a better life:

Knee Pain – Jim’s Success Story

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Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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