There’s No Better Time to Start Managing Your Chronic Pain
A new year means new chances for change. Not every New Year’s resolution works out the way you want it too, though. Sometimes the better approach is to make monthly goals, especially when it comes to your health. In fact, there is no reason to wait for the calendar year to change if you have chronic pain. Consider four ways you can feel better starting right now with chronic pain management techniques.
Meditation is an age-old practice that calms the mind and body. The goal is to focus on one thing, usually your breathing, and ignore everything else. Start by finding a comfortable position. You can lie down on your bed, sit in your favorite chair — whatever works for you. You do need to pick a spot that is quiet and where you won’t be interrupted.
Now, inhale deeply enough that your stomach expands like a balloon. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then slowly exhale. The most important benefit of meditation is it helps relieve stress, which is often a pain trigger.
Some people with chronic pain think exercise is the last thing they should be doing, but they are often wrong. Physical activity has many pain-reducing effects. The most important is the release of endorphins. These brain chemicals are your body’s first line of defense against pain. Releasing them into the brain blocks pain signals.
There are plenty of other benefits from exercise to consider, though. It helps build muscle that can support aching backs and joint pain such as chronic shoulder tendonitis, it can aid in weight loss and management, and it reduces the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Keep in mind, though; you should only begin a new exercise program after your doctor has told you it is okay.
Consider a Support Group
The American Academy of Pain Medicine estimates that over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, something that has a significant effect on quality of life. Pain support groups give you an outlet to share your feelings, discuss what works for you and what doesn’t and just socialize with others who understand your pain.
Keep a Pain Diary
Keeping a record of pain episodes pinpoints patterns that might be leading to your pain. It also gives the doctor a reference to understand why you have chronic pain. Make an entry every day that assesses your pain level on a scale from one to 10. Make notes throughout the day if the pain increases. Write down what you were doing at the time.
Take your pain diary with you when you go to the doctor, You can discuss the entries and talk about changes that might help you feel better.
If you have chronic pain and have not seen a doctor make that your goal this month. A physician can recommend chronic pain management techniques such as physical therapy or biofeedback. It’s tough to manage pain when you don’t know what is causing it.
There is no reason to live with pain. If you experience chronic pain, contact BackFit today to make an appointment that could change your life.