Many people go through life with chronic pain. From lower back pain to shoulder pain and knee pain, many of us believe that there’s not much we can do to fix it or manage it. Research says that over 28% of the population lives day after day getting up in the morning with pain and going to bed with it. Chronic pain can be caused by past surgeries, trauma, or injury. However, it can also be caused by habits like bad posture.
We take Aleve, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or other over-the-counter drugs to help mask it on a daily basis. For some, however, this isn’t enough and so we have the current opioid crisis. However, despite what many of us may believe, there are many of ways of not only managing pain but getting rid of it entirely, and avoiding it in the future.
1. Know What Is Causing Your Chronic Pain
You may already be able to pinpoint the exact day your pain began. It may have been caused by a car accident, a fall, or a past surgery or injury. However, for many people, discovering the cause of chronic pain is more difficult. Some of us have lived for so long with pain that it’s difficult to determine when and how the pain started. However, in order to recover from pain – and avoid it in the future – it’s important to take a look back and try and remember when the pain started. Knowing when and what you were doing at the time can help determine the exact cause and diagnosis of the pain, which can lead to a better rehabilitation and prevention strategy.
2. Learn And Avoid Your Pain Triggers
There are certain things that can be triggering chronic pain. Many times, it’s things out of our control, like the weather. However, there are many things that contribute to pain that you can control. Figuring out what triggers your pain is important to not only managing it but avoiding it. Stress, lack of sleep, and processed foods and sugar are all common triggers of pain that you can avoid if you want to manage your chronic pain.
3. Pain Sufferers Should Avoid These Foods
Like stress and changes in the weather, your diet can affect how your body responds to pain. A diet high in inflammatory foods will cause an inflammatory response. When the body is in pain, it’s already inflamed. Adding more inflammation from certain foods can hurt you more than help. Such foods include sugar (especially processed sugar), caffeine, nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes and potatoes), trans fats and fried foods, carbs, and artificial sweeteners. A diet rich in omega-3s – such as the Mediterranean diet – can aid in chronic pain management. Eating fresh and anti-inflammatory foods are the best ways to control your pain.
4. Exercise And Therapy
It may seem counter-intuitive and even impossible to exercise when you’re in pain. However, doing exercises that do not make the pain worse can help in reducing pain. Physical therapy is an exercise-based therapy that has been proven to help chronic pain suffers manage their diseases. A specialized program will help strengthen the right muscles that are needed to support the area in pain. Furthermore, increased blood flow to the problem area can help the body respond better to treatment. Exercise is the best way to increase blood flow. However, if this impossible due to your current tradition, other therapies are available such as manual therapy that can help achieve this.