Do you know that around 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain? This number is increasing because most of these people do not know the cause of their chronic pain. Some of these people decide to take bed rest for months. Although this technique was used in the past, it does not help. Instead, it worsens the pain. Therefore, if you are suffering from chronic pain, forget about resting and do the following:
You should exercise to manage your chronic pain. When you exercise, you will increase your mobility and decrease your pain levels and any inflammation. Some of the options that you should try when it comes to exercising include swimming, walking, and riding a bicycle.
When it comes to walking, start slow and then try longer walks after some time. For instance, you can start walking for at least 30 minutes at least three days a week. If you experience any problems when walking, try using a walker or a cane. When you do this, you will be surprised how you will increase your body endurance, strength and improve your heart health.
If you have mobility issues that make it hard for you to go for daily walks, try swimming. Since it is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise, it will help you exercise without putting much stress on your muscles and joints. It will also help you clear your mind since it is somehow therapeutic.
If your chronic pain is in your neck or lower back, try stretching exercises. They will improve the mobility of your neck and lower back. Neck stretches, lower back, and glute stretches are some of the best exercises you should try. Strengthening exercises will also be good for you. They will stabilize your joints, hence, prevent future injuries. They will also help you maintain a good balance and posture. Dead bug and leg raises are examples of strengthening exercises that you should try.
Over-the-counter painkillers can help you manage your pain, therefore, be more active. They include paracetamol, opioids, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You can take any of them or a combination of two types depending on your chronic pain. For instance, if you are only feeling some pain without any inflammation, take paracetamol. However, if you have chronic pain and inflammation, take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
If you decide to take painkillers, ensure that you take them regularly. For instance, if you decide to use paracetamol, ensure that you take it 3 to 4 times a day until the pain starts to improve. However, ensure that you take these drugs after eating or with food as they can irritate your stomach lining.
You might experience several side-effects after taking painkillers. For instance, you might feel nauseated, constipated, or cause dry mouth. To prevent the occurrence of these side effects, take the lowest doses of painkillers that can control your pain. Another route you could consider is medical marijuana and other sativa strains to help manage pain. The research has been coming back for year stating that pain management using THC compounds can be a great alternative to opioid laden pills.
Being dehydrated can worsen your chronic pain. Therefore, avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as they can cause dehydration. Instead, take adequate amounts of water every day.
You will probably think that this is a joke but drinking enough water will help you manage chronic pain. It will decrease histamine and prostaglandin responses which are associated with inflammatory reactions. As a result, it will reduce chronic inflammation and pain.
Water also helps joint cartilages to be spongy. When they are spongy, they reduce the friction between bones, hence, lessen pain.
Reevaluate Your Diet
You are probably suffering from chronic pain because of chronic inflammation. If this is the case, checking your diet will help you manage your chronic pain by reducing chronic inflammation. For instance, if you take foods rich in folic acid, selenium, vitamin A, and iron, your immune system will be strengthened. A strong immune system will help reduce chronic pain and inflammation.
Your diet should also contain foods rich in polyphenols. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory effects, which make them prevent painful flare-ups, thus, reducing chronic pain. Dark green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes are examples of foodstuffs that contain polyphenols.
When it comes to your diet, you should also aim at eating a variety of foods. For instance, whole grains and healthy proteins should take half of your plate. The other half should have fruits and leafy vegetables. You should also avoid using flavorings and butter when preparing your food.
Consider Practicing Yoga
Yoga will help if you are suffering from low back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, arthritis, and other chronic pain conditions. It will help improve your mobility, reduce pain and improve your daily function. It will also improve your psychosocial well-being and overall mood.
During a yoga session, ensure that you do breathing exercises as they will help your body to relax and make your mind free itself from worries. You can do these exercises when standing, seated, and when in different yoga postures. You should also meditate when doing these exercises.
If you are suffering from multiple sclerosis, do yoga while seated on a chair. You should also limit your movements as you might end up hurting yourself if you exercise beyond your exercising limits. You can talk to your doctor about how far you should go when it comes to yoga moves.
Get a Massage
You can have someone manipulate your soft tissues to reduce your chronic pain. This manipulation will disturb pain signals and increase healing. When massaged, your body will relax, and its mobility will be improved. Massages will also improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve your general body posture. After you are massaged, you may experience increased body temperatures, the removal of body wastes, and increased production of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.
Chronic pain can make you unable to carry out your daily activities normally. Therefore, if you suffer from such pain, look for ways through which you can manage it. Yoga, exercises, staying hydrated, and checking your diet will help you manage this kind of pain. You can also take painkillers if the pain is too much and is preventing you from being active.