5 Common Mistakes with Chronic Pain Management and How to Avoid Them
Over 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, causing $80 billion in lost wages each year. Making these common mistakes with chronic pain management could make your symptoms worse. Instead of unintentionally making your pain worse, use this guide to start easing chronic pain.
With these tips, you can soothe your symptoms to improve your quality of life. Read on to learn about common causes of chronic pain (and how to avoid them) today.
1. Holding Onto Stress
Stress can increase your heart rate, making it difficult for you to breathe. Muscles can tighten, anxiety levels can rise, and your pain can get worse.
Stress causes cortisol levels (the stress hormone) to rise, which can further lead to inflammation and pain symptoms.
Instead of holding onto your stress, take a moment to consider what causes your stress levels to rise. For example, maybe you have a stressful job. Look for ways to minimize stress in your life.
You can also use stress-relieving activities like:
- Breathing exercises
Consider picking up a new hobby or learning a new skill this year. Keeping your stress levels in check can help you manage your pain more effectively.
2. Unhealthy Eating Habits
Unhealthy food habits can cause inflammation, increasing your chronic pain. Consider adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet this year. For example:
- Fatty fish
- Bell peppers
- Chili peppers
- Dark chocolate and cocoa
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Green tea
Reduce your intake of processed meats, fried foods, junk food, and sugary beverages.
As you begin making changes to your diet, consider cutting out alcohol as well. Alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of lung and heart disease. It could increase inflammation, making your pain symptoms worse.
3. Focusing on the Pain
Remaining hyper-focused on your pain can make your body believe your symptoms are getting worse. Look for ways to distract yourself. Distractions will give your brain and body time to recover.
Try reading a book, listening to music, or challenging yourself with new activities. Stay social, too.
4. Not Visiting a Specialist
Instead of relying on chronic pain medication, consider visiting a specialist this year. A pain specialist can determine the underlying cause of your pain. You can treat the problem at the source instead of trying to tackle your symptoms.
You can find an expert nerve pain doctor here to schedule your first appointment.
5. Doing the Wrong Exercises
Exercises for chronic pain can ease your symptoms, but the wrong exercises could make your pain worse.
Instead of exercising on your own, consider working with a licensed physical therapist. They can develop an exercise plan based on your symptoms and needs. Their help will ensure you don’t injure yourself or make your symptoms worse.
Avoid These Mistakes With Chronic Pain Management
You don’t have to continue living in pain. Instead, avoid these mistakes with chronic pain management. Making adjustments to your daily routine can help you avoid further pain symptoms.
Don’t forget to visit a pain specialist to determine the underlying causes of your chronic pain.
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