5 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Pain
A report shows that nearly 20.4% of U.S adults had chronic pain in 2016. The study from Center Disease Control and Prevention further shows that chronic pain affects 116 million Americans every year.
Most of the patients are inadequately treated, mainly due to misdiagnosis. Luckily, there are various chronic pain management methods.
The methods depend on the severity of the pain. Thus, the initial step is to find the cause of pain.
Most plans revolve around physical, behavioral, and psychological therapies, alongside multiple lifestyle changes. Irrespective of the pain relief method used, it is recommended to seek the advice of a professional.
Discussed below are the five incredible methods to manage chronic pain.
Don’t avoid exercise because of pain. Inactivity leads to muscle decline, fatigue, and reconditioning. When you remain inactive for an extended period, movement becomes more challenging.
It can also promote health problems and make the initial pain worse.
Exercise involves any body movement, including walking and running. So, if you find the gym schedule quite overwhelming, take movement as the first step to potential exercise. Stand up, stretch yourself, and walk a few miles.
Movement reduces inflammation and preserves bone and muscle growth. It also maintains reasonable motor control. An ideal exercise regimen should target the abdominal parts, the buttock muscles, neck, and the back.
Good hip or abdominal muscles, for instance, help in maintaining an upward posture. Stretching is also a valuable element for each exercise plan. It flexes the muscles, and this makes them less prone to injuries and pains.
Note that every type of exercise is good for different parts of the bodies. For example, the aerobic exercises are excellent for relieving the back pains. They include cycling, swimming, and walking.
So, if you have back pains, avoid sports like tennis, football, wrestling, weight lifting, running, dances, and gymnastics as they worsen the pain. Gym exercises are beneficial for muscles only.
2. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy helps to relieve pain. It enables you to move better, and it makes it easier for you to accomplish your daily tasks. Physical therapy involves massages and yoga.
The therapy should only be done by experts. It could be an osteopath, physiotherapist, or an occupational therapist.
The professionals give you directions on what to do in different environments. They also advise on how to be functional even when alone.
Your physiotherapist may recommend deep breathing and meditation techniques. Deep breathing relaxes your body muscles and eases the pain.
Proper meditation needs classes. But before then, you can research and learn more about how to do it alone.
Look for a quiet place and rest your body in a comfortable position. Block all distracting thoughts and imagine a spot before your navel.
Fill your abdomen with air by breathing into that spot, and then take it out. When meditating, focus on your breath, ignore your thoughts, and repeat a mantra to relax your body. You will start seeing the results after a few sessions.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight has not yet been proven to be the primary cause of chronic pains. It, however, slows the recovery process.
When you have extra pounds, chances are high that your sorrows will return even after treatment.
Additionally, the heavier you are, the more the load your spine carries. To make matters worse, your center of gravity can quickly shift downwards if your weight comes in the form of fat instead of muscles. This adds pressure to your back, hips, and your feet.
To see if you have a healthy weight, find out your Body Mass Index (BMI). The index takes into consideration both your weight and height.
It does not only help you to maintain the normal range (19-25), but it also lowers your risk to diseases such as stroke and diabetes. If your BMI is within the risky range, change your diet. Take lots of drinks and see a nutritionist.
4. Use painkillers
Use over the counter medicines to reduce your chronic pain. However, seek the advice of a professional before you take them. This is because some medications have side effects, and may worsen your current situation.
You can try the anti-inflammatory tablets such as ibuprofen, provided that you don’t have stomach ulcers.
At the recommended dosage, the best painkillers should be taken 4 to 6 hours. This can, however, vary depending on the level of chronic pain and other health conditions of the patient.
For effectiveness, don’t wait until the pain becomes too severe for you. They won’t work well, and you may be forced to overdose for you to see the results (which is not advisable).
5. Develop Healthy Habits
Your daily habits can either reduce your chronic pain or add it. For instance, sitting in front of your desktop every day for long hours can increase your back pain.
Also, vacuuming your house every day can affect your hips and raise pains.
To reduce the pressure, keep one of your feet on a stepping stool when doing ordinary tasks such as folding or ironing. Don’t sit or stand for long hours, and don’t stay in the same position for an extended period.
Lastly, use one of your arms to support yourself on the waist when bending.
As you develop healthy habits, avoid smoking. The habit increases the risk of heart diseases, hypertension, and lung cancer. It also jeopardizes your back.
Research shows that smokers have a high probability of getting frequent back pain episodes as compared to non-smokers. Scientists also believe that the nicotine used in cigarettes contribute to chronic pain in two main ways.
Firstly, it interferes with the flow of blood to discs and vertebrae. This impairs their normal functions and triggers pain.
Secondly, smokers lose the bone faster than non-smokers, increasing their risk for osteoporosis. So, quit smoking and get rid of chronic pains.
Managing Chronic Pain
If you are suffering from chronic pain, don’t worry. The condition can be stressing, but it’s very manageable. Follow the above-discussed methods and put an end to your suffering.
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