How to Manage Chronic Pain
If you spend every day in pain and medication is not helping, you may have a condition known as chronic pain. According to the CDC, more than fifty million U.S. adults suffer with chronic pain. Pain that continues for more than twelve weeks without responding to medication is classed as chronic pain. Unfortunately, there is not always a clear cause for pain and because it can last for months or even years in some cases, it can be an extremely debilitating condition.
Chronic pain can occur in any part of the body, and it does not have to be continuous. Some people suffer with pain all the time, while for others it can come and go in bouts. Whatever form it takes, chronic pain can interfere with daily activities and affect a person’s ability to work and socialize. It is for this reason that pain clinics such as KindlyMD exist.
What Can You Do about Chronic Pain
If you are suffering with pain regularly, you might want to visit a pain clinic where a team of dedicated professionals will work closely with you to tailor a plan based on your individual needs. There are other things you can do that might also help:
When your body is relaxed you are less likely to feel pain. But it can be a vicious cycle because when you are in pain, you are almost certainly going to feel tense. Tension increases the risk of pain and pain increases tension. Some people find that when they learn how to relax by meditating or doing breathwork, it helps to ease their pain.
The last thing you might want to do when in pain is exercise. Perhaps you feel like just lying in bed, but the longer you lie in bed the worse the pain can be. Lying in bed can make your bones and muscles weaker and you are more likely to feel stiff when you get up. Introducing gentle exercise into your daily routine is likely to make you feel better. You could try some light stretching such as yoga or Pilates or walking or swimming. Exercise encourages the brain to release endorphins, which help improve mood and block pain signals.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Alcohol should be limited if you are suffering with chronic pain. This is because it can affect sleep; if you are not getting enough sleep, your pain can seem worse. Smoking leads to poor circulation, which can worsen pain. Furthermore, it will increase your risk of certain diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Often, chronic pain is the result of a poor diet, especially if you are overweight. Eating a balanced diet will improve digestion and help you to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, try eating in a calorie deficit to shed some pounds. A calorie deficit means that you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning. This can be done by reducing the amount of calories you eat each day, exercising more or, ideally, a combination of both.
Join a Support Group
Although a support group cannot make your pain go away, it can be helpful to meet with other people who know exactly how you feel. The great thing about a support group is that you may be able to share tips on easing pain. Maybe someone in the group is doing something that is helping to ease their pain, or perhaps you will have advice on what you are doing. A group is a terrific way to help you feel less alone in your struggles.