Whether you are living with a chronic pain condition or recovering from an injury that is causing extreme pain, the effects can impact many different aspects of your life.
You may be unable to drive or get around as well as you used to. Day-to-day tasks that used to be second nature to you can become far more different to achieve.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to alleviate the pain and help your recovery. Here are 4 ways to manage chronic pain.
If you are suffering from a chronic pain condition such as fibromyalgia, exercise probably isn't something you relish the idea of. If your symptoms, like many other sufferers, include severe pain to the feet, legs, and hands, you probably think that sitting or lying down will be more beneficial.
Whilst relaxing might help, exercise is known to accelerate mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. These block pain signals to your brain and can make you feel a whole lot better. Exercise such as running or aerobics can help relieve stress and increase muscle strength, so although you might feel fatigued and sore, it's crucial to try and push through if you can.
Acupuncture has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is said to bring the body’s energy flow back into proper balance. It involves the placement of very thin needles to various depths through the skin, into specific points of the body.
According to Serenity Clinic, an acupuncturist near Charlotte, NC, 'acupuncture can be used to manage chronic pain and irritation from injuries, and the release of energy often reduces tension in the muscular and nervous system.'
If you prefer more natural methods of pain management then this is one to try.
Did you know that your diet can play a huge part in how bad your pain gets as well as how your body deals with it?
Sugar, flour, yeast, and saturated fats (to name but a few) can increase inflammation, which in turn increases swelling and pain. Studies have shown that gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) can also act as an inflammatory.
Keeping a food diary is a great idea. This will allow you to record what you have eaten and whether it has caused any additional discomfort.
The more pain-enhancing foods you can eliminate from your diet, the easier it will be to keep your pain under control.
An adequate amount of sleep is essential to allow our bodies to recuperate and be able to cope with day-to-day life. Even if you aren’t living with chronic pain, lack of sleep can cause lethargy, and sore muscles, and generally make you feel awful.
If pain is making it hard for you to get to sleep, consider buying a new mattress or support pillows to give you extra stability.
It’s also a good idea to experiment with different sleeping positions until you find what works best for you.
A good night’s sleep will help you to think more positively and should help to alleviate some of the pain.