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

Medicines are not the only way to ease pain after surgery. Try these methods instead of pain medicine or to lower the amount of pain medicine you need.

Woman relaxing in chair with eyes closed.

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 come into your mind, take a deep breath and try again.

Progressive body relaxation

Relaxation helps ease 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. Tense and relax different muscle groups from your belly, 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 few seconds.

  • Exhale through your mouth slowly and deeply.

  • Repeat 3 more times.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jonas DeMuro MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2022
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