Chronic Pain! If you’re suffering from it, you would know that it doesn’t go away soon and how bad it can get. It stays with you for weeks, months, or years. The medical timeline for chronic pain is at least 3 to 6 months.
Causes and Symptoms of Chronic Pain
You could be in chronic pain due to some health issues or an injury. The reasons could be past injuries or surgeries, back problems, migraines, arthritis, nerve damage, infections, or fibromyalgia.
The symptoms of chronic pain are dull aches, throbbing, burning, shooting, squeezing, stinging, soreness, or stiffness. You could also feel tired or exhausted, have a poor appetite, trouble sleeping, mood changes, weakness, or lack of energy.
Chronic pain affects your mental health too, and you tend to suffer from low self-esteem. Anger, depression, anxiety, and frustration are fallouts of this. One of the treatments for chronic pain is sleeping pills.
Before you search for the best sleeping pills online, you need to know that you have other options to choose from.
Remedies For Chronic Pain
Here are some effective remedies for dealing with chronic pain:
Deep Breathing or Meditation:
This relaxation technique will make your body calmer and help you deal with stress better. You can go for meditation or try repeating a mantra to help your body relax. You avoid negative thoughts and focus on breathing.
Find a quiet corner, block negative thoughts, and practice deep breathing. Since deep breathing involves positive visualization, you don’t need to worry about any equipment.
While it is unrealistic to be completely stress-free, you can learn to keep it within controllable limits. There are multiple choices like soft music, guided imagery, relaxation tapes, or progressive muscle relaxation that can also help in reducing stress.
Excessive stress has an impact on your bowel movement, as well. So along with the suggested techniques, a stool softener would also make life easier for you.
Exercise generates natural endorphins that can help with chronic pain symptoms. These endorphins help in elevating your mood. Apart from this, exercise reduces pain by strengthening your muscles, preventing re-injury and any more pain.
You should consult your doctor to design an exercise routine for you according to your present health condition. Cardiovascular exercises are a great option if you have chronic pain. These include walking, swimming, stretching, and strengthening.
Reduce or Avoid Alcohol Intake and Smoking
Alcohol disrupts your sleep patterns, and this can aggravate your chronic pain. To keep your chronic pain at manageable levels, cut down on your alcohol intake, or avoid it altogether.
Smoking not only aggravates your chronic pain, but you also make your circulation problems worse. The risk of cancer and heart disease goes up.
Support Group and Counseling
Sharing your problems with others who are also suffering from chronic pain will help you deal with your problems better. They could provide tips for handling chronic pain.
You can connect with a mental health professional for counseling since depression is a severe threat when you are suffering from chronic pain. These professionals will provide coping strategies to keep negative thoughts away. A healthier attitude will help improve your quality of life.
Monitor Pain Levels
Are your chronic pain levels going up or remaining static? You need to share this information with your doctor every time you visit them. A journal for maintaining your pain score on a scale of 1 to 10 will help in monitoring your pain.
Your activities should also be mentioned in this journal. When the doctor is aware of your progress, treatment can be modified for better results.
The various functions of the body can be controlled through biofeedback. It uses sensors for hearing or seeing bodily functions like muscle tension, body temperature, digestion, or pulse. The movements in the monitors help you identify the body functions that are causing the pain.
These are the involuntary functions of your body, and it uses the power of the mind to help with your chronic pain. You will be taught relaxation exercises customized to the body function that is troubling you. Biofeedback includes deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or mindfulness meditation.
The changes can be monitored on the sensors. The different types of biofeedback used are electromyogram, heart rate variability, electrodermal activity, thermal, and neurofeedback.
One of the ways to get relief from chronic pain would be a massage. This helps minimize your stress and tension. It would be part of your pain management routine. The different types of massage therapy to aid your chronic pain problems are Swedish massage, neuromuscular massage, acupressure, and Shiatsu.
Swedish massage does not focus on specific pain points or use deep pressure. It is a mild form of massage that improves blood flow and reduces muscle pain. With neuromuscular massage, certain regions of tension and muscle spasms in the back are targeted.
Hands, fingers, or other methods are used to apply pressure on the body’s vital areas in acupressure. Shiatsu is similar to acupressure, but only fingers instead of hands are used for massaging.
Shift to a Healthy Diet:
Your diet has an impact on your chronic pain. A well-balanced diet will help you deal with it better by improving your digestion, keeping the risks of heart disease in check, ensuring that your weight remains under control, and leading to better blood sugar levels.
You should include lean meats, yogurt, milk, low-fat cheese, peas, cooked dried beans, fresh fruits, and vegetables for a low-sodium, low-fat diet. Some of the best foods for chronic pain include tart cherries, soybeans, cold-water fish, turmeric, Vitamin D, and cocoa.
The foods you should avoid are red meat like beef, processed meat like ham, specific oils and fats, white bread, instant oatmeal, instant or white rice, diet soda, fruit juices, and all drinks containing added sugar, and processed sweets.
Live Positively With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain does not mean your world has come to an end. With the right combination of lifestyle changes and medication, you can look forward to a high quality of life.
You should follow the instructions given by your medical practitioner and follow up on your appointments. Your treatment will be modified according to your response to medication and therapy. Get the best out of life, even with chronic pain.