If you have chronic pain, you know how difficult it is to go about your daily activities. You may have difficulty with standard movements or necessary tasks which could slow you down significantly. The pain can be caused by a number of different things such as illness, chronic disease, a permanent condition, or even a side effect of a medication or treatment you may be undergoing.
Whatever the reason, it is important to figure out ways to deal with your chronic pain. Everyday life does not and cannot stop because you have pain—there are things to be done and people at work and home need you to perform your daily duties well.
These top 10 tips for dealing with chronic pain will help you get your pain under control so that you can go about your day to day business with ease and efficiency.
1. Practice Stress Reduction: Stress has been proven to worsen chronic pain. When you have negative feelings such as anxiety, stress, and depression, your body can become incredibly sensitive to pain. Controlling your stress allows you to stop the pain cycle before it starts. There are lots of stress reduction exercises you can practice to achieve the best results for you. Exercise, deep breathing, and even mental imagery relaxation practices can be useful.
2. Deep Breathing: This is often a technique taught by doctors and therapists to help their patients learn how to practice mindfulness and induce tranquility. Deep breathing allows you to adjust your focus so that when you are feeling pain, you can mindfully think of something else, thus reducing the amount and intensity of the pain. Deep breathing is often used alongside some forms of meditation.
3. Cut Alcohol and Other Substances Out of Your Lifestyle: Sleep is a healing activity which means it could be detrimental to develop sleep problems when you already have chronic pain. Similarly, pain can make sleep incredibly difficult and alcohol can actually worsen sleep problems. Alcohol and other non-prescription substances should be cut out of your lifestyle in order to regulate your systems and encourage natural sleep.
4. Talk It Out: Experts have found that one of the best ways to manage stress, depression, anxiety and the pain that comes with them is to join a support group. Talking with others who share your problems provide insight into your problem and help you to fellowship with other people. Creating bonds with others can help you feel happier, which cuts down on stress and negative feelings.
5. Exercise: Regular exercise is great for your body but it can also relieve chronic pain thanks to natural endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help improve your mood and block pain signals to the brain. When you exercise, these endorphins are released and can help strengthen your muscles and reduce chronic pain. Regular exercise is best for immediate results.
6. Get a Massage: Touch is therapeutic which is why massages are so popular. Chronic pain can be alleviated by a deep tissue message that loosens and relieves tension and stress physically held in the body.
7. Get 8 Hours Regularly: Even if you have trouble falling asleep, your body can benefit from simply lying down and resting. Do your best to get to bed at a reasonable hour and allow your body to wind down before actually going to sleep. This means avoiding television smartphones, and other electronics that may be distracting and mentally stimulating.
8. Try Heat Therapy: Chronic pain can sometimes be alleviated by temperature. While ice packs are mostly used for inflamed injuries, heat can be used to soothe most other pains. A hot shower or a long soak in a warm bath can actually help relieve chronic pain caused by tension and anxiety.
9. Avoid Tobacco and Smoking: Smoking has been proven to exacerbate circulation problems causing a high risk of cancer and heart disease. Poor circulation means that the blood is not reaching all parts of the body, which can result in pain and oxygenation problems.
10. Stick to a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet can have wonderful effects on your health and your body. When you eat a balanced diet you can benefit digestion, reduce heart disease, control your weight, and improve blood sugar levels. When you put good in, you feel good. This is one of the simplest ways to reduce chronic pain every day.