For some types of pain, heating pads, hot or cold packs, and massage may be soothing and help reduce the pain level. Biofeedback is a method that uses the mind to help with pain. Breathing exercises, relaxation, visualization, meditation, or imagery may also be effective. Sometimes, talking with friends, laughing, or listening to music might be a helpful distraction from pain.
For severe pain, a technique called a nerve block is sometimes considered. This procedure may involve injecting a substance, such as alcohol, directly into or around a nerve or around the spine. This to block the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain so that the pain will not be felt. Extreme cold or heat is now sometimes used in nerve blocks instead of drugs or chemicals. A nerve block can cause temporary muscle paralysis or numbness in the affected or surrounding area.
Nerve blocks may work to control pain for people who have advanced cancer or very painful nerve conditions. However, there may sometimes be serious complications. Nerve blocks are not recommended for people with certain medical conditions. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks before any treatment to decide what is best for your situation.
Every cancer survivor is different and each responds differently to pain management strategies. Open communication with your healthcare team can help you decide together what will work best to manage your pain.