Living With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain sufferers may feel like their life will never be the same. But with the right help and a change in attitude, you can enjoy your life fully and really live, even with chronic pain
Chronic pain affects millions of Americans and is one of the leading causes of disability. If you suffer from chronic pain, you’ve no doubt tried everything medically possible to relieve your discomfort, but may still find that your pain lingers.
The health care professionals at Village Emergency Centers want you to know that you can live happy and productive lives with chronic pain, but it does require the right mindset and effort from you.
Track your pain and triggers
When your pain is chronic, you may begin to notice that certain activities or situations aggravate your pain. It can be as simple as lifting a bag of groceries or worrying about your overdue electric bill.
While you may not be able to control all your pain triggers, if you’re more aware of what it is that aggravates your pain, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate your exposure. Ask for help carrying your groceries or request that your spouse take over paying the bills.
Find techniques to help you relax
Stress, anxiety, and depression increase your sensitivity to pain. Finding ways to better manage these pain triggers with relaxation techniques may help reduce pain and allow you to be more productive. You might consider breathing techniques to help you relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Daily meditation in a quiet room also helps you reset. Consider making it the first thing you do every morning, before turning on the news or drinking your cup of coffee, to help set your day off right. Use a meditation app to help you stay focused.
Massage therapy also helps you relax and relieves your pain. This is especially helpful if your pain causes muscle tightness or trigger points, which are muscle knots that cause severe radiating pain.
Relieve pain naturally with exercise
Physical therapy is often recommended as a treatment for people with chronic pain to help improve range of motion, strength, and overall mobility. But regular exercise actually releases endorphins that naturally reduce pain by blocking pain signals.
Why do you think marathon runners can run for so long and at great speeds? Regular exercise also boosts your mood, reduces stress, and may help you lose weight so there’s less stress on your joints and muscles.
Use brain power
Your brain is a very powerful tool when it comes to managing chronic pain. Biofeedback is a technique that teaches you to consciously control body functions normally controlled with your subconscious mind.
If you can tap into this power, you may be able to reroute your pain signals to help reduce sensation. Biofeedback takes practice and a strong belief system to work, but it can make a serious impact on your pain and help you regain some of your independence.
When you suffer from chronic pain, it can be all consuming, leaving little room to think about much else. Finding techniques to help distract yourself from the pain may help. Good distractions include spending time with friends and family, going to an animal shelter or adopting a pet, finding a hobby that suits your disability, watching a movie, or reading a book.
Make healthy life choices
Exercise offers its own natural benefits for pain reduction, but making other healthy life choices can help make living with chronic pain less all consuming. We recommend a healthy diet filled with foods that help fight pain such as salmon, walnuts, cherries, blueberries, and leafy greens.
Alcohol and smoking increase inflammation and may make your pain worse, so you may be better off eliminating both from your life.
Chronic pain can make life hard, but there are things you can do to reduce flare ups and relieve your pain. If you need help managing your chronic pain, the pain specialists at Village Emergency Centers can help. Call today or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.