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Unfortunately, we don’t choose whether or not to have chronic pain but we can choose to do all we can to make it better. What does that look like, you’re wondering? Thankfully there’s many options to relieve some of the pain. Combine a few of these with an ongoing treatment from the
physical therapist that’s right for you and you’ll be shocked at how much more manageable your pain becomes.
This might seem like the opposite of what you need, but allowing your muscles to get stiff and weak can actually increase the amount of pain that you have. The idea of physical activity can easily seem intimidating for those suffering with ongoing pain, but this can be calmer than you think. What counts as activity can be as simple as walking around a mall or store, an easy bike ride, or even swimming if falling is any concern for you.
Don’t Underestimate Nutrition
Maintaining a healthy diet can be key in your overall well being and also surprisingly effective for reducing pain and inflammation. Make as much of an effort as you can to keep a diet that’s low in sugar and carbohydrates and that’s also rich with fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and lean meats.
This will also help to reduce the chance of heart disease and improve your blood sugar levels all while keeping your weight under control.
Stay Away From Smoking
Thankfully, this is becoming less and less a part of our lives as time goes on and fewer younger people are picking up the habit. If this is something that’s included in your daily life, it can be making your chronic pain even worse as smoking can worsen any circulation problems you might already have as well as increasing risk for both heart diseases and various cancers.
Reduce Your Stress
It’s easier said than done but there’s proven correlations that the more stress in your life, the worse you’ll physically feel. Anything such as depression, stress, and anxiety can all increase one’s sensitivity to pain. It might seem like an indirect route to easing physical pain, but getting any mental stressor more under control can make a big difference when tackling physical pain.
From podcasts to CDs just on this topic, there’s many simple ways for us to try and become less stressed throughout our daily lives. It might not sound like something you’d like to try but making an effort to relax through low stress music and meditation might become a key in reducing chronic pain.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
The same logic that was presented about food intake applies here as well. Drinking regularly can increase the inflammation in your body as well as impact your ability to sleep deeply. If you are using alcohol as a means to help you fall asleep, it’s likely that’s actually making your sleep problems worse. While it might feel like it’s making it easier to sleep, it’s also preventing you from getting as deep of a sleep as you would have otherwise.