Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with chronic pain every single day. If you are one of them, you are probably looking for an effective way of managing your pain. It might be that you don’t want to rely on medication all the time, or maybe medication is simply not working for you anymore. Thankfully, there are other things that you can do. Indeed, the pain management doctors at KindlyMD in Salt Lake City say that in some cases medication is not always the best treatment option for chronic pain.
It really all depends on the type of pain and its cause. For example, someone with chronic back or knee pain might be suffering in this way because of being overweight. A diet and exercise plan would be a better treatment as it will deal with the cause of the pain rather than just addressing the symptoms of being overweight. Below are a few other tips and strategies that might help you manage your chronic pain:
Maybe the last thing that you want to think about when in pain is moving about. You believe that you will feel better if you just lie down, but the reality is that staying active is actually better for you – both physically and mentally. Many people do not realize that lying in bed can make the pain worse and last for longer because it causes muscles and bones to become weak and stiff.
No one is saying you should get up and run around the block or do a full-on aerobics exercise class, but some gentle movements really can help. Yoga and Pilates are commonly recommended for those with chronic pain. The gentle, full-body stretches are good for the mind and the body and help to reduce stress, which can often be a trigger for pain. If you don’t fancy stretching exercises, a short walk will also help.
Go to Work
Staying at home can be worse for you if you are dealing with chronic pain. Depending on the type of work you do, you should continue to go in because being at work can be a distraction from the pain. Speak to your employer about your condition because you may be able to make some changes to your job that it will make it easier to do, or you could agree to reduce the hours that you do while you are having a flareup.
Practice Relaxation Exercises
There are a number of relaxation exercises that will distract you from the pain while also helping you to relax. This is a terrific way to ease the pain. Simple breathing exercises or meditation can help to relieve tension in the muscles and may help to reduce stress. A massage is also good.
Good quality sleep is important, so making sure you get enough can help with chronic pain. Although it can end up being a vicious cycle, where you struggle to sleep because of the pain and then the pain is worse because you are not getting enough sleep. Try to drink less alcohol or avoid it completely because it can make it harder to sleep. Establish a bedtime routine where you go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Playing some sleep sounds might also help you to drift off.
Living with chronic pain is often a daily struggle, and sometimes medication is not enough. Nevertheless, distraction, staying active, and learning some relaxation exercises can help. Additionally, trying to improve your sleep quality might also help to ease the pain.