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How to ease needle pain

Washington, Sun, 22 Nov 2009 ANI

Washington, Nov 22 (ANI): For people scared of needles, even the sight of an injection sliding into skin is enough to make them cringe and cry. Now, an expert has suggested some ways that can help ease the needle pain.


According to experts, fear of needles may also be preventing people from getting the H1N1 vaccination.


"I think people may have concerns about vaccines for a variety of reasons, but pain and the actual fear of getting the injection is often the barrier that prevents people from getting the vaccine," said psychologist Christine Chambers, a Canada Research Chair in Pain and Child Health, based at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.


"Certainly people who are anxious in general are more likely to be fearful about other consequences and other side effects that they see might be associated with the vaccine," Chambers added.


Concerned that people may be bypassing immunization for H1N1 because of their fear of needles, Dr. Chambers assures there are things they can be done to reduce pain.


For one, she suggests the purchase of a topical anesthetic cream or a patch and applying it 30 to 60 minutes before getting the needle.


She also advises practicing the art of distraction; in other words, try not to think about it so much. Bring along an ipod while you're waiting in line or take a friend with you.


"The other thing to do is breathing exercises. If your body is tense, the needle will hurt more. But we know simple deep breathing exercises-the kind you might do in yoga class-are effective at reducing pain," she added.


Dr. Chambers says needles are painful for some, but that the fear of the needle may be out of proportion to the actual pain.


She also said that people who have had bad experiences in the past may have good reason to be fearful. (ANI)


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