Living with chronic pain does not have to be debilitating.In normal circumstances, chronic pain can ruin your focus, affect your mood, and alter your sleep patterns. Follow these tips and you can start on your road to managing your pain level.
1. Reduce Your Stress Level
“Easier said than done,” I know. Depression, anxiety, and a high stress level can increase your body’s sensitivity to pain. This causes a never ending cycle of wanting to relax and work on other things but not being able to because of the pain you feel. Mental image relaxation, refocusing, and deep breathing can all help you cope with your stress level and manage the pain.
2. Track Your Pain Level and Activities Daily
We are creatures of habit, and, when we get into bad habits, we tend to hurt from it. If you are experiencing chronic pain, go about your normal life as best you can; however, keep track of your pain levels based on activity. If running is a pain level of 7 and walking is a 4, that tells you something. Doing this can help you keep track of bad habits and modify them accordingly.
This cannot be stressed enough. Humans are bipedal creatures made to walk and modern life does not really allow that. Numerous studies show that people who work in jobs requiring them to be on their feet are healthier than sedentary people who work in an office. The best thing to do to make up for this is to get out and get active. Not only will this allow your muscles to work, it will also release endorphins to ease your pain.
4. Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates you and in large quantities leads you to make poor decisions that lead to stress. If you lower your alcohol intake when faced with chronic pain, you will feel better in the long term.
5. Cut Back on Smoking
Similar to alcohol but different. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause multiple lung issues that may lead to your muscles not getting enough oxygen during exercise. While quitting smoking is always a good idea no matter what age you are, faced with chronic pain, it will lead you to feeling happier and healthier.
6. Learn Deep Breathing, Relaxation Techniques, Yoga, etc.
Deep breathing and meditation are ways to reduce stress levels, refocus, and lower your pain level by distracting yourself. Yoga allows you to become more flexible, increases your heart rate, and increases your fitness level while meditating.
7. Join a Support Group
While nothing beats a professional opinion on pain management, a support group of people who feel or have felt similar pain can help you manage it. If they are still feeling pain, they can be a shoulder to lean on when in trouble. If they have beaten their pain, then you can use their tips to help you on reducing your pain level to zero.
8. Get a Massage
A massage to ease your muscles and relieve pressure on your spine can do wonders for your pain level. This will generally be a short term fix, but it is certainly a welcome one.
9. Eat a Healthy Diet
You cannot out-train a bad diet and all the exercise in the world will not help if you have a diet of cheese curds, double deep fried chicken wings, and cake. Diet and exercise will help lower your weight, reduce pressure on your joints, muscles, and spine, and make you feel better for it.
10. Learn to Monitor Your Body
It may sound strange. It may seem like you are being told to stand under a freezing waterfall like a monk, but learning what your body does and the pain levels causing it is helpful in managing your pain. Learn to feel for certain parts of your body getting warm and inflamed for instance as that can be one of the best tools to targeting a problem area.
11. Consider Chiropractic Rehabilitation
In the end, the best option for me was to see a pain relief healthcare facility. This allowed the pain level to go from a solid 6 to 7 daily to zero within a few sessions. Chiropractic therapy, physical rehabilitation, and acupuncture can all be incredibly helpful tools in treating chronic pain.