When you’re hurt, your body produces pain signals until the wound heals. This is the natural and healthy way your body alerts you of an injury so you don’t make it worse. However, chronic pain is different. This describes persistent pain that lasts for weeks or even years, sometimes with no apparent cause. If you have a chronic ailment that causes you pain daily, these tips can help you manage it.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Muscle tension can worsen chronic pain, so it’s important to learn how to relax. You have many options, including meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or simply closing your eyes and listening to soothing music.
- Exercise regularly: The endorphins produced when you exercise are natural pain relievers. Physical activity also strengthens your muscles, which may be the key to supporting your spine more effectively and reducing chronic pain. If your condition prevents you from doing traditional exercises, ask your doctor for suggestions.
- Keep a “pain journal”: It’s possible your habits are making your pain worse without you realizing it. Keep track of your activities and diet as well as that day’s overall pain score on a scale from 1 to 10. You may start noticing correlations, giving you a chance to change your behavior and improve your health.
- Eat a well-balanced diet: One thing you might need to change is your diet. Inflammation is a common cause of chronic pain, and the food you eat can impact your body’s inflammatory response. Asking your doctor for nutritional guidance is a good place to start.
- Reduce alcohol consumption: When you’re living with chronic pain, you may find that alcohol numbs your senses for a while. However, drinking can make sleep problems worse. Seek other methods of managing your pain to improve your quality of life.
- Don’t smoke: As with drinking, smoking can make you feel good for a little while, but the long-term effects—including circulatory problems and increased risk of heart disease and cancer—aren’t worth it.
- Join a support group: Chronic pain is isolating, so it’s helpful to know you’re not alone. Attend local meet-ups or find groups online where people can discuss health problems in a setting where they feel supported and understood. Counseling can also help you adopt a better attitude, which can, in turn, make your pain less severe.
- Seek chiropractic care and acupuncture: It’s one thing to cope with your chronic pain—it’s another to seek treatment for effective pain management. Chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture can help with everything from arthritis and back pain to neuropathy and sciatica.
The chiropractic care, massage therapy, and other non-invasive treatments available at Effective Integrative Healthcare are highly successful at targeting and healing problem areas at the source rather than merely masking them with pain medicine. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today. We have offices in Crofton, Millersville, and Lanham, MD.