Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Chronic pain is a term used to describe any pain that persists or progresses over a long period of time. This could be from an injury or that which comes from a medical condition like fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis. It may be felt as a dull ache, throbbing, burning, shooting, stinging, squeezing, soreness, or stiffness. This constant or recurring pain can lead to trouble sleeping, weakness, lack of energy, and mood changes. Here at Proactive, our goal is to help get you out of pain. So, here are 5 tips on managing that chronic pain so you can live the life you want.
Reduce your stress levels: Depression, anxiety, stress, and anger can increase your body’s sensitivity to pain, but those are also commonly associated with chronic pain. It’s like a vicious cycle. Pain and limitations cause stress and emotional turmoil, which in turn causes more pain. Break the cycle by learning to manage and reduce your stress levels. Find time throughout your day to decompress. Whether it’s listening to music that calms you, taking a walk in nature, or spending time with people who lift your mood.
Get a massage: I’m not just suggesting this just because that’s what we do here, but because the research is there to back this up. Studies are being conducted to confirm the effects Massage Therapy has on stress hormone levels. It’s also been shown to help ease stress-related and condition-specific muscular tension and inflammation. It definitely helps with your over-all sense of well-being.
Exercise: Some people may worry about injuring themselves with exercise, especially those with chronic pain, but when done correctly, exercise can help most medical conditions. First, when you exercise it releases endorphins which not only improve your mood, but also blocks pain signals. It also strengthens your muscles and may help prevent further injuries. Research has shown time and again that joints, intervertebral discs, and most other body structures benefit from weight lifting and cardiovascular exercise. Be sure and talk with your doctor, your physical therapist, or a personal trainer who’s well-versed in any exercise adjustments needed for your specific condition.
Eat a balanced diet: A nutrient dense diet not only helps keep your weight balanced (a common struggle for many with chronic pain) but it also fights painful inflammation within the body. Every cell functions better when it’s fueled properly, and the only way to keep them fueled is to feed your body the right foods and stay hydrated. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about how you can make the right changes to your diet to help fight your pain. Come see us in October at My Nourishing Kitchen's October Event. We will be giving away a One Hour Therapeutic Massage while making a weeks worth of healthy meals for our families. It is a ton of fun! Register for the event on their website or Facebook Event Page.
Keep a journal of your daily pain level and activities: Those with chronic pain know how much can change from day to day. Your doctor needs to know anything you’ve done or felt between visits. Keeping a daily journal of your pain level along with the activities you were able to do may help give your doctor more insights into your daily life so they can treat your pain more effectively. Make sure that each day you write down any symptoms as well as your level of pain on a scale from one to 10. This is also for personal use. Doing this type of daily journal may help you find patterns in your pain as they’re associated with certain activities, sleep patterns, etc. so you can make your own adjustments.
Chronic pain is a daily battle for thousands of people. It can take over your life and overwhelm you. But there is hope. Reducing stress, adding exercise, eating a nutrient dense diet, journaling, and getting a massage can all help to manage your chronic pain. Take back control of your life! We’d love to be a part of that too, so feel free to reach out with questions on how we can help in your fight against chronic pain.