Managing chronic pain can be challenging at best. Yet, living with pain is a way of life for many people. Narcotics simply put you to sleep and take more of a toll on your health. You can’t live an active life when you’re looking through a constant haze. Finding alternative ways to manage your pain can drastically improve the quality of your life.
When my husband was injured on the job, he had acute back pain. Acute pain comes on suddenly. It may be caused by an injury, illness or even an unknown source. Acute pain goes away when the cause is corrected. When the underlying cause cannot be treated, it may lead to chronic pain. This type of pain can last for months or years.
My husband’s initial injury led to chronic pain that affected our emotional well-being for many years. You can read more about our journey in my book, The Dark Side of Injury. Managing chronic pain and your pathway to recovery isn’t an easy road, but the rewards are definitely worth the pursuit.
Tips for Managing Chronic Pain
- Some conditions are affected by dehydration. Drinking enough water to stay well hydrated sometimes reduces the pain. Avoid caffeinated sodas, juices and teas that have a diuretic effect.
- Many foods have anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate some of your pain. Low-sugar fruits, leafy greens and soy products are excellent choices. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, tuna, etc.) are also good choices.
- Some herbs such turmeric have anti-inflammatory products that are known to be beneficial in reducing chronic pain.
- Avoid foods that are known to be instigators of inflammation. Some of these include high-fat red meats, wheat products, processed foods, dairy, chocolate and tomatoes.
- Get out and move. Exercise and yoga add strength and flexibility. You don’t have to do a lot. Simply walking can decrease stress and combat the depression that often goes hand in hand with managing chronic pain.
- Massage therapy, chiropractic treatments and/or other therapy may be beneficial for managing chronic pain.
- Individual meditation or group support may reduce some of the stress associated with managing chronic pain. Both are ways to calm your mind.
- Take each day as it comes. Do things that you enjoy as much as you can without making the pain worse. Simply doing one thing that you enjoy will lift your spirits.
If you are struggling with managing chronic pain, schedule a consultation at Serenity Health Care. Our medical professionals are well-versed in combining traditional and alternative pain management techniques.