5 Tips on How to Manage Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be difficult to live with no matter your age or the underlying cause. However, there are ways to manage your chronic pain to get your life back to a semblance of order and to help you live with the pain by reducing or even eliminating it. The “tricks” to manage your pain can get you feeling happier, healthier and as pain-free as possible within just a few days, so don’t wait, get to managing your chronic pain and living your life fully again.
- Exercise – Most people who live with chronic pain would balk at the thought of exercising, and it can definitely be a little painful at first, but the act of exercising can improve your muscle tone and help to give you back the strength you’ve lost because of the chronic pain. The act of exercising also releases endorphins which are kind of “happy” chemicals that can help to get you feeling better and block the pain signals from transmitting to the rest of the body.
- Quit Those Vices – If you partake in drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes you are only exacerbating your chronic pain. Alcohol stops you from getting deep sleep, also known as REM sleep, which can help your body recover from an injury or adapt to chronic pain. Cigarettes are known as an unhealthy habit already, but did you know that they also slow the healing process, lower circulation in your body and increase the risk of degenerative disc problems which can be a major cause of chronic back pain? Both vices have multiple ways that they hinder your body’s recovery from illnesses, diseases and temporary or permanent injuries, so try to quit or at least cut back on both vices.
- Eat Healthier – A bad diet full of fats, carbs, junk foods, etc. will only hinder your body from adapting to chronic pain or recovering from it. By eating healthier and sticking to a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, lean meats/fish and healthy whole grains you will be helping your body to manage chronic pain by ingesting vitamins and minerals that aid in the healing process.
- Keep Busy – A good way to manage chronic pain is to keep busy and distract yourself from the actual pain. If you have hours on end where you do little to nothing or where your body is busy but your mind isn’t, you’re only allowing your mind to linger on the pain and make it seem a hundred times worse than it actually is. A good distraction can push the pain to the side to where it is forgotten even for a little while and help you to manage the pain and live a full and eventful life.
- Keep a Pain Journal – A pain journal is another excellent way to manage chronic pain by keeping a detailed record of your pain for your doctor to better treat you and help reduce your pain. A pain journal does not need to be a long and through account of all of your pain and your daily activities, but just a simple record of the level of your pain (from 1 to 10) and a basic account of what you did during the day. This will help your doctor to figure out if certain activities, treatments, etc. are helping or worsening your chronic pain management.