I've been able to get along for the past several weeks without the need to take the heavy-duty pain meds. I think this is mostly because of self concious self massage. I've been going to acupuncture treatments once a week, and I have to say that I think it's working because in addition to the treatments, I get training in self maintenance. I was a bit dubious when I started this process, but I can't argue with the fact that I'm feeling better.
Right now, I have some sort of seed in my ear. My acupuncturist put it there. He said it would help with inflammation. I should point out that it's not directly in my ear as much as on my earlobe. I feel like Dumbo with the magic feather.
I think a lot of my pain management has to do with maintaining a steady blood flow. When I move around rather rigourously such that my heart rate goes up a little bit, my pain goes away.
I also keep a massaging heating pad with me at work, so that if I start to feel pain, I can see to it immediately. When I'm in a position where I can't use the heating pad, I'll apply Mineral Ice. It's great. It's a little stinky, but it works.