By Jackie Waters, Founder of Hyper-Tidy.com
Just getting out of bed can be torture with chronic pain, let alone going to work, doing chores, or playing with the kids. As one sufferer of lupus and fibromyalgia explains to Everyday Health, the constant discomfort forced her to disengage from her family life and turn away her hobbies, leading to an intense bout of depression. Don’t let this happen to you. Though it may not be easy, there are steps you can take to manage your pain and live life to the fullest.
According to a writer with the lifestyle website Bustle, anxiety and stress cause your muscles to tighten, particularly in your neck and back, which can trigger pain attacks. That’s why it’s crucial to find ways of freeing your mind from everyday worries. These include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as a variety of relaxation techniques.
Learn to Meditate
Among those techniques is this ancient Indian practice, which involves rhythmic breathing while focusing your mind on what you’re feeling in the here and now. Moreover, with a consistent effort, you can go beyond simply releasing tension in your muscles to controlling your pain and lessening its intensity, says a writer with Health.com.
Get a Massage
This is a more passive approach that not only relieves your suffering but provides some pleasure in the process. There are many different types of massages, and some are better than others for pain relief such as Swedish and deep-tissue techniques. Both of these are highly effective in relaxing cramps and tightly knotted muscles.
There are even specific foods you can include in your meals to keep your pain at bay. These include ginger, which contains compounds that fight inflammation, while the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fish have a similar effect. Of course, you should consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet, especially if you’re on medication.
Exercise is a common treatment for chronic pain, encompassing cardio, strength training, and stretching routines that also serve to increase mobility. Walking, swimming, and water exercises are excellent low-impact activities for improving blood flow, while leg lifts and “dead bugs” increase muscle tone in the abdomen, hips, and back for better posture.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates how a night spent tossing and turning can exacerbate chronic pain, according to the experts at Practical Pain Management. That creates a vicious circle, as more pain prevents you from getting the deep sleep that you need. The stress relief techniques mentioned above will go a long way in helping you doze off at a decent hour, while creating the perfect sleeping environment takes you over the finish line to dreamland.
Reorganize Your Home
There may be pain triggers in your own house, especially if it’s organized in a way that forces you to constantly bend over or reach up. The first step to eliminating these small but taxing efforts is to place objects that you use often within easy reach by rearranging closets and shelves and creating a more ergonomic home office. HomeAdvisor has a helpful guide to online resources that can help you get your house organized.
Join a Support Group
There are millions of others in the same circumstances as you, and reaching out to them not only gives you the motivation to face your everyday challenges, but it often proves therapeutic as well. You can often find compassion and comfort among your own friends and family, but they can’t always empathize if they don’t suffer from chronic pain themselves. There are online support groups where you’ll find the understanding you need to see it through an episode.
While there’s no magic cure for chronic pain, these efforts will go a long way in making it manageable so you can get the most out of life despite the difficulties. Stay positive!