Chronic pain is a tricky condition. It can be caused by a variety of different sources or no known source at all. And while a pain management solution may work perfectly for one person, it may have no effect on the person right next to them.
Yet finding the right solution is crucial for the 100 million Americans who deal with chronic pain every day. Nearly 59% of those with chronic pain reported an impact on their overall enjoyment of life. Get back to living a life that isn’t derailed by chronic pain by trying these practical pain management solutions.
Drink less alcohol
Many people with chronic pain experience trouble sleeping. It makes them wake up throughout the night and the resulting sleep deprivation can lower their pain threshold even more. This creates a close connection between insomnia and chronic pain.
On its own, alcohol has similarly negative effects on sleeping habits. When you combine that with the sleep problems that result from chronic pain, you’re not setting yourself up for a good night’s rest. Try drinking less alcohol, or none at all, to improve your sleeping habits. By getting better sleep, you may soon start to experience a better quality of life.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
The best foods for someone with chronic pain are those that are easy to digest and those that help alleviate inflammation. These foods include leafy greens, fish such as salmon and trout that are high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and low-sugar fruits such as pineapple, cranberries, and cherries. To lower your risk of inflammation as much as possible, limit your intake of foods and beverages that lead to it. These inflammation-inducing foods include red wine, citrus fruits, tea, and chocolate.
Lessen stress by practicing meditation
Just as an air compressor will convert about 80% to 90% of the electrical energy it uses to heat, your body will convert the stress and anxiety you experience into physical pain. While you probably can’t eliminate all sources of stress from your life, you may find relief in your chronic pain by employing methods to reduce feelings of stress.
These stress-relieving methods are different for everyone, but common ones include meditation, yoga, and aromatherapy. All of these techniques can help clear your mind, in turn easing pain in your body as well. Engaging in relaxing activities that clear your mind can help with stress as well. These pastimes can include reading or spending time outside in your yard, which 75% of Americans agree is important to do. For those who struggle with anxiety, regularly seeing a therapist or even confiding in friends and family can help ease feelings of anxiety.
Keep moving with regular exercise
Chronic pain often results from the tension caused by your experience. This then leads to muscle tightness and stiffness. Engaging in regular exercise can help stretch your muscles and soothe the stiffness you may feel. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that simultaneously lift your mood and block pain signals.
When you exercise, remember not to overdo it and engage in low-impact activities so as not to exacerbate your pain further. Activities such as swimming are perfect for this reason. Whether you opt to go to an interior swimming pool outfitted with glass surfaces that can retain their appearance and integrity almost indefinitely or you dive into the more rugged waters at your local beach, you’ll be giving your joints a rest while still exercising.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for chronic pain management, as much as we may wish for one. If you struggle with keeping your chronic pain under control, the best thing to do is to start testing these methods. With any luck, you’ll find one that works for you and allows you to lead a more comfortable life.