Over the past month, how many times has chronic pain prevented you from doing what you wanted to do? How many times has it made activities of your daily life nearly impossible?
Now think about living a completely pain-free life. Think about being able to do all of those things that you were previously missing out on. You can make that a reality when you explore different pain management options.
Millions of people live with chronic pain. But you don’t have to be one of them. Read the article below for more information on dealing with chronic pain.
Modify Your Environment
If you’ve been living with chronic pain for an extended period of time you may have already changed things in your home to be more convenient. For example, if climbing the stairs makes your joint pain worse, you could move your bedroom to the first floor. Or if you have trouble reaching for items on high shelves you could put items you use every day in more accessible cabinets.
And your environment includes more than just your home. You can rearrange your desk at work or adjust the seat in your car for maximum comfort and ease. Small changes to the spaces you use every day can make a big difference.
Physical pain is often associated with stress. When you experience chronic stress your body may respond by increasing tension in the muscles causing neck pain, back pain, and other unpleasant side effects.
If you’ve tried to manage chronic pain with traditional forms of medicine, maybe the physical symptoms aren’t the root of the problem. To reduce stress, try to engage in relaxing activities such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, or listening to calming music. While these techniques may not cure chronic pain, they can help reduce pain and make certain activities more bearable.
Get More Sleep
Getting enough rest is crucial to maintain optimal physical and mental health. Aim to get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night. If chronic pain prevents you from sleeping through the night, talk to a pain specialist about alternative options.
Your body needs time to rest and recover. You can improve your sleep hygiene by creating a bedtime routine, avoiding screens (phone, computer, tv, etc.) at least an hour before bed, and reducing caffeine consumption (especially close to bedtime).
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Alcohol consumption, even in moderation, can impact your sleep. And as you learned above, sleep is important for chronic pain management. Alcohol is also a dangerous coping mechanism for physical pain.
Smoking cigarettes can also make chronic pain worse. It reduces the body’s circulation which can enhance pain throughout the limbs. Smoking also increases the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Get A Massage
Massage therapy can help reduce tension and ease chronic pain. It can also be an effective way to reduce physical stress and help manage the side effects of chronic pain. Ask a massage therapist for suggestions on the type of massage you should get for chronic pain. There are several massage methods that may work for you.
Light to moderate exercise can help you manage the symptoms of chronic pain. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, also known as the happiness chemical. Endorphins also work by blocking pain signals.
With the approval of your doctor, start a regular exercise routine. Exercise can reduce pain, building muscle, control blood sugar, and prevent injuries and falls. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise plan.
Keep a Journal
There may be certain factors that cause your pain to get better or worse. You may also notice that pain is better or worse during specific times of the day or the year. By keeping track of these data points in a journal you can start to better control your pain.
In your journal keep track of your eating, sleeping, and exercise behaviors. Make a note of how much pain (if any) you are feeling t least once per day. You can use a scale of 1 to 5 or label days as green (for no pain), yellow (for mild pain), and red (for severe pain).
You can also share your journal findings with your doctor. Together, look for patterns that could help you adjust your lifestyle to reduce chronic pain.
Having close family and friends can make it easier to manage chronic pain. They can help you with everyday activities like grocery shopping or cleaning. They can also provide emotional support.
There are support groups for people with chronic pain. If you are feeling isolated due to your condition, find a local support group that you can visit. Talking about your challenges can make you feel a lot better, especially when those people can relate to your experience.
Don’t suffer from chronic pain alone. Reach out for help if and when you need it.
Find a Pain Management Specialist
A pain management doctor specializes in all types of pain management, including chronic pain management. They can offer solutions that your primary care doctor may not have discussed with you.
Doctors for pain management have experience with back pain, joint pain, abdominal pain, and even nerve pain. They help patients with chronic pain associated with arthritis, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and circulation issues.
So if you feel like you’re not getting the support you need from your current doctor, it’s time to seek additional help.
Try These Pain Management Options
You deserve a life free of chronic pain. And using these pain management options can help. Take control of your pain and get back to the activities that you love.
At Elite Pain & Spine Institute we help people of all ages manage pain conditions, including chronic pain. Our specialists are committed to pain management solutions that work.
Contact us today to make an appointment.