At MedStar Health, we believe there are ways you can effectively relieve your pain without the use of medication. It's part of our mission to help our patients any way we can, and to offer them all the healthy and alternative choices for better health.

While waiting to meet with a pain management specialist or before making the appointment, try these techniques to help relieve your pain. 

Breathing Exercises

 PainActiveWEB1. Deep breath, exhale, relax, and yawn for quick relaxation

  • Clench your fists; breathe in deeply and hold it for a moment
  • Breathe out slowly and feel yourself becoming limp

2. Slow rhythmic breathing for relaxation:

  • Breathe in slowly and deeply
  • As you breathe out slowly, feel yourself beginning to relax; feel the tension leaving your body
  • Now breathe in and out slowly and regularly, at whatever rate is comfortable for you
  • To help you focus on breathing slowly and rhythmically, try to:
    • breathe in as you say silently to yourself, "in, two, three."
    • breathe out as you say silently to yourself, "out, two, three."
  • End with a slow deep breath. As you breathe out say to yourself, "I feel alert and relaxed."


There are a number of ways to help your body relax when you are having pain. Remembering a relaxing experience that happened to you in the past can make you relax again. Close your eyes and take yourself away from the present as you think of the answers to the following questions:

  • Can you remember a time when you felt calm, peaceful, secure, hopeful, or comfortable?
  • Have you ever daydreamed about something peaceful? What were you thinking of?
  • Do you get a calm feeling when you listen to music? What special music helps you relax?
  • Do you have any favorite poetry that you find uplifting or reassuring?
  • What favorite readings, hymns, or prayers do you find calming?


  • PainMusicWebGet earphones or headset (reduce the other noise in your immediate area, if possible)

  • Get some music you enjoy and find relaxing (some people find fast, lively music can help distract them)
  • Mark the time to the music by tapping out the rhythm with your finger or nod your head (this will help you concentrate on the music rather than on the pain)
  • If the music alone is not enough, try adding one or more of the following:
    • massage your body in rhythm to the music
    • mark the time to the music

Simple Touch, Massage or Warmth

  • Try holding onto someone's hand
  • Try briefly touching or gently rubbing the painful area
  • Try a warm foot soak in a basin of warm water, or wrap your feet in a warm, wet towel
  • Get a massage (whole-body massage or a specific area of the back, hands or feet - use a warm lubricant such as a small bowl of hand lotion warmed by putting it in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • The person massaging the area for you should use smooth, long, slow strokes and gently putting some pressure on your body may feel comfortable
  • A back rub will produce relaxation in just three minutes with continuous hand pressure (the person giving the back rub should use slow and steady movements)

Setting aside a regular time for a massage will give you something to look forward to and can be a very important strategy to control pain.

Location Information

To schedule an appointment, please call 443-777-7180 or use the button below.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Pain Management Specialist


Congratulations to Matthew Hansen, MD, named a 2014 Top Doc

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