Living with chronic pain and inflammation can take a toll on your day to day life, making everyday tasks seem nearly impossible.
It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that over 20 percent of the United States adult population lives with chronic pain. Unfortunately, these percentages are higher among those living in poverty and lower-income communities.
Dealing with chronic pain can feel like swimming up a river sometimes – You keep looking for solutions, but it seems everything is going against you.
Luckily, you can utilize various chronic pain management techniques to give you some much-needed relief.
1. Reduce Stress Levels
Reducing stress is easier said than done, but it’s not an impossible task if you are taking the necessary steps. Stress is a natural human response to challenging situations, but when stress is present for long periods of time without coping with it, it can create further problems.
According to the Institute for Chronic Pain, prolonged periods of stress can lead to inflammation, which then irritates the nervous system. When the nervous system gets irritated, it can lead to conditions like:
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic neck pain
Anyone who has experienced these conditions knows exactly how debilitating they can be. Reducing stress can help keep “flare-ups” under control and allow you to keep doing the things you love.
2. Exercise Regularly
Although the sound of exercising with chronic pain may sound like a terrible idea, it can actually improve your conditions over time.
While exercising, your body naturally produces hormones in the brain and nervous systems called endorphins. These hormones act on certain receptors in the brain that can help reduce pain and boost feelings of joy.
3. Visit the Physical Therapist
Physical therapy involves using a science-based approach to help clients reduce pain, enhance function, and improve quality of life. If you are wondering how to manage chronic pain, visiting the physical therapist can be a good first step to feeling better.
Physical therapists are certified and trained to assist patients in their recovery process. They will be with you every step of the way, making sure you are on the road to recovery.
4. Make the Necessary Life Changes
Certain things individuals do can irritate chronic pain, making it worse over time. Addressing these concerns can make a significant difference in how you feel when dealing with pain.
According to recent research, about 1 in 4 adults self-medicate with alcohol. Alcohol may be able to relieve the pain temporarily, but it will make it much worse over time. Smoking can also cause chronic pain flare-ups and should be avoided.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
You have heard the saying, “you are what you eat,” but the saying holds even more true when it comes to chronic pain.
A lot of inflammation in the body can be traced back to the individual’s diet. Things like
- Trans fat
- Refined carbs
- Processed meat
Are all known causes of inflammation. Avoiding these can help keep inflammation under control and prevent breakouts from happening. Instead, eating whole fruits, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and nuts can help fight inflammation.
Looking for More Information on Chronic Pain Management?
Chronic pain can feel like a neverending fight, trying different medications and lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life. It all starts with chronic pain management, actively learning, and applying what you learned to your lifestyle.
For more information on chronic pain, check out the rest of our website!