Living with a chronic pain condition can be frustrating, limiting, and at times unbearable. And you might do almost anything to diminish the pain, including agreeing to risky surgical procedures or taking pharmaceuticals that make you feel groggy and stop you from operating heavy machinery (including your car). There’s no escaping the fact that chronic pain from migraines, arthritis, fibromyalgia, injures, or other sources can leave you debilitated and unable to do the things you want to. But don’t despair – there are so many strategies you can try to reduce the pain and get back to some semblance of normalcy. Here are a few habits to work into your daily routine that could not only reduce chronic pain, but also the need for medical intervention.
- Skip the stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, and even sugar can certainly give you a boost of energy, but they won’t help where your pain is concerned. Not only do these stimulants get your heart racing, potentially amplifying feelings of pain, but they can also keep you awake at night when your body and mind should be engaged in restorative slumber. A balanced diet that includes natural foods (as opposed to processed items) is a much better strategy. It will not only improve your overall health, but if your weight is a factor in your chronic pain condition, it could help you to drop a few pounds.
- Take a walk. Many chronic pain sufferers find that exercise is a great way to reduce feelings of pain, and it’s no surprise considering the boost of endorphins physical activity can stimulate. Your pain may limit the types of activities you’re able to participate in, but nearly everyone can find some way to get their heart pumping, even if it’s only going for a walk, putting in some time on the exercise bike, or doing some gentle yoga. Ask your doctor for recommendations or see a specialist (like a physical therapist) if you’re not sure where to start.
- Get your beauty rest. Sleep is essential to the healthy function of body and mind. Unfortunately, pain symptoms can keep you awake at night, kicking off a vicious cycle of increased pain and ongoing restless slumber or even insomnia that gets worse and worse. So take steps to sleep soundly, such as skipping caffeine, exercising regularly, and creating a routine that helps you to prepare for a good night of sleep. If all else fails, you can get a prescription from your doctor, but you don’t want to start relying on sleep aids if you don’t have to.
- Skewer stress. Stress has been linked to all kinds of health problems, both mental and physical. And the truth is that your body’s immune function is reduced when stress levels remain high. So start taking more time for yourself and think about ways to relax, such as meditation or massage. When your stress is low you’ll likely ease chronic pain in the process.
- Learn to cope. Whether you like the idea of natural remedies like those offered by NutriChem or you’d rather visit a clinic that specializes in pain management, you’ll find that there are all kinds of solutions that can help you cope with your chronic pain condition. It will likely be a learning process, but you can find the solution that’s right for you with a little trial and error.