Over one in five American adults deals with chronic pain.
If you live with pain, you know how challenging it can be, both physically and emotionally. Pain can make it difficult to participate in regular activities, including work and caring for family.
But there are ways to manage and cope with chronic pain so you can continue enjoying life to the fullest. Follow this quick guide for a few essential strategies.
Practice Healthy Habits
When managing pain, you may overlook basic habits like eating and sleeping well. But sometimes, these healthy habits can make all the difference.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods and get plenty of rest to help calm irritation and pain in the body. Stop smoking, and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
And even though pain can make exercise difficult, try low-impact aerobics to release mood-boosting endorphins.
If you live with chronic pain, it’s crucial to practice self-care and relaxation to keep stress at bay.
Stress can cause spikes in pain. This happens when your muscles tense up and the stress hormone, cortisol, triggers inflammation.
Find relaxing hobbies that both distract you from chronic pain while also relieving stress. Your mind and body will thank you.
Turn to Medication and Other Treatments
Chronic pain is now more treatable than ever thanks to a variety of medications and alternative methods.
If you’re wondering what can reduce chronic pain, it’s best to first make an appointment with a pain management doctor for personalized advice. They can recommend a specific medication or other treatment based on your needs.
There are also over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, though these can cause adverse effects if taken too frequently.
If medical marijuana is available where you live, you may want to try a strain of MMJ for lower back pain and other chronic pain. There are also naturopathic treatments such as massage and acupuncture which may be beneficial for some types of pain.
There are more choices than ever, from herbs to medical devices that block pain signals. Talk to your doctor and research your options to find the best treatments for you.
Be Gentle on Yourself
One of the hardest aspects of living with chronic pain is dealing with the toll it takes mentally and emotionally. You may feel frustrated when your pain limits you from certain activities, or you may lose hope and choose to stay in bed on especially low days.
For people living with pain, it’s important to accept that your life may look differently than those who don’t have chronic pain. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless; with some adjustments, you can live an equally rich and full life.
Know your boundaries, and don’t hesitate to say no to something that may only trigger more pain. And be gentle with yourself. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits, and prioritize your health above all else.
How to Cope and Live With Pain
Chronic pain can be taxing both physically and emotionally. But if you live with pain, there are ways to make the most of life while managing flare-ups.
For more ways to get healthy while living with pain, read our other health articles!