7 Tips for How To Manage Chronic Pain
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Oct 26, 2022 11:54:00 AM
Although chronic pain can make you feel very alone, this isn't the case. One in five Americans is living with chronic pain and each of them has to find ways to navigate their lives through it and manage it well.
Chronic pain management is fortunately very possible if you know how to do it. It just requires being aware of what lifestyle and treatment choices can help you.
Wondering how to manage chronic pain? Let's take a look at the best ways.
1. Stay Active
Staying active is one of the best methods of managing chronic pain. Although you should take great care if your pain is due to an injury (and never do anything that might make the root cause of the pain worse), staying gently active will keep your body in good shape which can reduce the pain overall.
Although it's easy to spend most of your time lying down thinking about the pain, something is better than nothing. Even going for a short walk every day could make all the difference.
2. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
More than anyone else, someone trying to manage chronic pain should try to live a healthy lifestyle. While it may be unrealistic to expect a person never to indulge, overall healthy practices will reduce the risk of things getting worse (or causing more pain).
Some healthy lifestyle tips include:
- Eating a balanced diet and reducing your intake of junk food
- Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
The diet is especially important, as the right foods can help you boost your immune system which, in turn, can help you fight pain.
3. Track Daily
One of the best chronic pain management tactics that people often forget about is to keep a daily journal.
It doesn't have to be very detailed but every day, you should write down your level of pain along with a quick note about what you did that day — perhaps your activity, how you slept, and what you ate.
When you look back on the journal entries, you might be able to establish patterns. Your chronic pain might be worse, for example, if you eat certain foods or don't get enough sleep. This will tell you what to focus on to lessen the pain because you'll be able to see what you can do that makes it better.
4. Find Ways to Distract Yourself
Although it's easier said than done, the last thing you want to do is focus on the pain. This can make things so much worse as you'll get stuck in a vicious cycle of never thinking about anything else, meaning the pain will also feel worse.
Finding ways to distract yourself is key and it's very individual. Whether you're best distracted by a good Netflix show or spending time with friends and family, try to find things to do that don't involve focusing on the pain.
Meditation can also help with this, as it teaches you mindful thinking and you can focus your attention elsewhere, away from the pain.
5. Get Good Sleep
Sleep problems affect between 50-70 million Americans and are very common but for those with chronic pain, this can be more than an inconvenience — it can be detrimental.
Studies have shown that poor sleep increases the risk of pain, so it's important to do what you can to get some good rest, including:
- Prioritizing going to bed early
- Sleeping in when you can
- Minimizing screentime before bed
- Taking a hot shower before bed
- Trying meditation to relax
If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, you can also talk to your doctor about getting medication to help. They may be able to prescribe something mild that can let you drift off so you don't have to toss and turn all night.
6. See a Chiropractor
When many people think of getting help for pain, they think of traditional medicine like surgery and painkillers. While those things have a lot of value in many situations, chiropractors can also be a huge help.
They address the root problem rather than masking the symptoms, adjusting your body so you can feel better, sleep better, and experience less pain.
This is especially true for those with back and neck pain, but a chiropractor can help many people. Look around in your area for one with good reviews and lots of experience.
7. See a Pain Specialist
Pain management services are invaluable to those who suffer from chronic pain. Many doctors specialize in both managing the pain and addressing the root cause. Treatments other than chiropractic methods may include:
- Epidural injections
- Muscle relaxers
- Spinal cord stimulation
Although people may be nervous about going to a doctor or have given up and believe that pain specialists can't make a difference, they most certainly can. These professionals have been working with a variety of different cases and understand that no two people are unique.
A good pain management doctor will find the right treatment plan for you and help you towards a pain-free life.
This Is How to Manage Chronic Pain
When it comes to how to manage chronic pain, it's very individual. While one tactic may work well for someone, it might not be good for someone else, and it's really about knowing what works for you.
Still, you can't go wrong with staying active (where safe), living a healthy lifestyle, getting good sleep, and seeking the help of a professional.
Looking for Arizona pain specialists? Schedule an appointment at AZ Pain Doctors and work with one of the top pain management specialists today.