14 Comfort Items for Bad Pain Days

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 6 February 2023
  • 6 minute read
14 Comfort Items for Bad Pain Days | The Health Sessions

This blog post contains affiliate links to products you may find helpful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own.

No matter if you’re struggling with a stabbing pain in your stomach, a throbbing headache or nagging neck problems, a bad pain day can ruin the best laid plans.

Of course you should get yourself checked out by a doctor if you suddenly experience acute pain or a worsening of your usual symptoms. But unfortunately, it’s pretty common for chronically ill people to struggle with pain on a daily basis, despite all their efforts to manage their pain. According to WebMD, almost 70% of people who take medication for chronic pain have breakthrough pain – the flare-ups of pain that happen despite consistently taking your pain killers. 

Sadly, that means that sometimes there is no escaping the burning joints, nerve pain or whole-body aching. Aside from exploring natural strategies and mental techniques to reduce your pain, what can you do to cope with the constant aching?

Hopefully these 14 comfort items will make your bad pain days hurt a little less. 

14 Comfort Items for Bad Pain Days | The Health Sessions

Physically Soothing Items

1. Heating Pads. Applying heat locally helps to relax your muscles and joints, support good circulation and ease your pain. Plus, staying warm just makes you feel more comfortable, right? Depending on the location of your pain and your plans for the day, you could use a microwavable cherry pit pillow, wrap a kingsize heating pad around your back or shoulders, or wear a portable heating pad with massage modes around your waist to soothe cramps.

2. Cooling Gear. On the other hand, cold therapy reduces inflammation, which in turn lessens joint pain and headaches. You could try targeted cold packs like Koldtec’s halo for migraine relief, or a weighted ice pillow to melt away tension in your body.

3. Self-Massage Tools. Nobody around to give you a soothing foot rub or neck massage? No problem. With a wooden back massage roller or a small, ergonomic massage tool that naturally fits in the palm of your hand, you can reach every corner of your body to release the knots in your muscles.

4. Bath Salts and Soaks. What’s more relaxing than a long, warm soak? Well, you can upgrade your tub time by adding pain-relieving products to your bath. You could use Epsom salt that’s naturally packed with magnesium to ease muscles cramps, Arnica bath salts for muscle and joint pain, or make your own herbal bath tea to relax your body and lower inflammation.

5. Pressure Products. Compression wear applies gentle pressure to specific areas on your body, to stimulate your blood flow, reduce muscle soreness and ease pain. If you’re stuck in bed most days, wearing compression socks could support your circulation, but there are also compression gloves for arthritic hands or knee and elbow sleeves for support. You could even try a weighted blanket for a little pain relief.

6. Body Pillows. Isn’t it ironic that when you need sleep the most, painsomnia keeps you up all night? A body pillow can help you find more comfortable positions to rest in. If you want all the support you can get, you could check out a U-shaped body pillow to feel like you’re laying in a relaxing hug all night long.

7. Relief Balm. Topical pain relievers can help with arthritis, aching muscles and sprains. Some gels, creams and sprays have menthol, wintergreen oil or capsaicin in it, while others contain a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like in ibuprofen. So make sure you read the label to check what you’re looking for. For example, the WholyMe Relief Balm is a clinically tested formula of 12 evidence-based, natural ingredients that soothe sore muscles and joints.

8. Soft and comfy fabrics. When you’re in pain, the last thing you probably feel like is wearing a tight jeans or itchy sweater. Wearing soft fabrics, fluffy socks or warm slippers can help make you feel a little more comfortable, as does curling up under a cozy throw blanket.

14 Comfort Items for Bad Pain Days | The Health Sessions

Mentally Calming

9. Block the world out for a moment. Put on (noise-cancelling) headphones, ear plugs or an eye mask to reduce your sensory input when your brain’s already sensitive or overstimulated due to the constant pain you’re feeling.

10. Meditation apps. Did you know that meditation is a proven strategy to literally take your mind off the pain? The Flowly app is a patented brain-body program that helps you regulate your autonomic nervous system. By going through calming relaxing Virtual Realities, you will learn how to control your breathing and heart rate, and in turn reduce your pain, anxiety and sleep problems. Your Flowly subscription comes with a portable VR headset and biofeedback sensor. Pretty cool right?

11. Your favorite music. Studies show that listening to music helps to relieve acute and chronic pain, especially when you get to choose the songs. It seems that noise played at low volume, even other sounds than music, blunts the activity in parts of the brain responsible for signaling pain. So put on your favorite tunes in the background for some simple music therapy!

12. A journal. Writing down your thoughts can help you manage your pain levels in several ways. You could simply track your symptoms, triggers and experience in a pain journal to get a clearer picture of your health problems, but more expressive journaling can also shift your focus away from the pain. What’s more, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper is an effective way to release stress, which intensifies your pain experience. So on bad pain days, grab a beautiful notebook or a journal with writing prompts for a little relief.

Pro tip: If you spend a lot of time in bed or on the couch, I highly recommend getting a soft lap desk to make it easier to write in your notebook or try some of the creative activities below.

13. Art supplies. Expressing yourself creatively provides distraction, relieves stress, boosts your mood and even reduces acute pain. So if you can, pick up a creative activity that’s gentle on your body or could even be done sitting up in bed, like coloring, stringing beads into a bracelets, folding origami birds, knitting or hand lettering. Treat yourself to some simple art supplies to take your mind off the pain for a moment.

14. Feel-good fiction. What’s a nicer way to distract yourself than relaxing with some feel-good movies or comfy reads? Forget thrillers, horror or intense drama on bad pain days – that will only unsettle your nervous system and build up tension in your muscles even more. Instead, laugh away your pain – literally! – with hilarious comedies or some dry British humor, dream away with a cute romcom or lift your spirits with a musical movie. Whatever soothes you or gives you strength!

14 Comfort Items for Bad Pain Days | The Health Sessions

None of these products will fully take away your pain, but hopefully they can make you feel a little more comfortable.

Which comfort items help you on bad pain days?

For more help, check out 8 Mental Techniques to Cope with Chronic Pain and How to Relieve Pain Naturally. 

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