10 Effective Ways for Managing Chronic Pain

From illnesses and injuries to untreated stress and anxiety, there are various causes of chronic pain. Left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications and significantly influence your life’s quality.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that exceeds longer than three months. It is a highly common condition that affects most aging adults. Aside from older people, individuals who are most susceptible to this condition are those who smoke, are obese, have an old injury, have experienced a traumatic event, and work at a highly strenuous job.

Chronic pain can limit your flexibility and mobility, making it difficult to function normally. While every patient’s pain differs, some common types include lower back pain, neck pain, headache, joint pain, and post-surgical pain.

10 Effective Ways for Managing Chronic Pain
Photo by: Keenan Constance on Unsplash

How to cope with chronic pain?

Managing chronic pain involves a combination of alternative treatments, therapies, medications, and changes in attitude and lifestyle. Some medications used to help relieve chronic pain include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Acetaminophen
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Narcotics

Some common treatments and therapies you can try include:

  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • counseling
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Nerve block
  • Acupuncture
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Music therapy
  • Biofeedback

While there’s no proven cure for chronic pain, you can use various strategies to help reduce it so that you can carry on with your daily tasks with minimal discomfort. Here are ten simple yet effective ways to help you better manage chronic pain.

Manage stress efficiently

Since stress can affect a person’s overall well-being, persistent and unaddressed stress can further worsen your condition. It is essential you learn to manage stress so that you can be in a better position to handle your chronic pain. Know your triggers and practice mindful breathing. Unplug from the online world often and connect with your loved ones. If you feel you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), consult with a professional right away.

Engage in healthy activities

Staying active is essential when dealing with chronic pain. Take time to revisit old hobbies or start new ones. Engage in healthy activities that bring you joy and satisfaction. Avoid staying in bed all day and move often.

However, make sure to pace yourself, as overexerting yourself can increase the pain level of your condition. If you weren’t highly active before your chronic pain started, it would be best to start with mild to moderate activities for at least 30 minutes a day. Remember to move gently and take breaks often.

Change your mindset

Your attitude and mindset greatly impact your ability to manage chronic pain, so being positive is vital. Change your outlook and the way you talk to yourself. Instead of focusing on the things you’re unable to accomplish, divert your attention to the improvements you’ve made recently. Constantly using negative words or belittling your capabilities can worsen your condition and cause you to live unproductively.

Eat well

The food you consume plays an essential role in managing chronic. Eating a well-balanced diet, preferably food rich in protein, can help in pain management. Proper nutrition can reduce inflammation, reduce the pain’s severity, and prevent critical medical complications. Choose anti-inflammatory foods to help alleviate the pain. Some food options include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Bread and grains
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts

Avoid processed food as much as possible and limit your sugar intake.

Drink water

Aside from eating healthily, it is also essential you keep yourself hydrated. Water is integral to ensuring your body functions properly, so make it a point to drink water. Drink at least six to seven cups of water daily, or more if possible. Avoid carbonated and sugar drinks, and stay away from alcohol.

Build a support group

Dealing with chronic pain can be extremely challenging, especially if you’re going through the whole endeavor alone. You must develop a strong support system that can provide you with valuable support. Reach out to trusted relatives and friends who are experiencing the same struggles.

If you don’t have anyone within your social circle, check social media for online support groups and communities. Connecting with individuals who can relate to your situation can make you feel empowered as you know you’re not alone.

Seek professional help

Aside from connecting with loved ones for help, consider getting assistance from a medical professional, especially if you feel that your chronic pain is already uncontrollable. Talking to a psychologist or other mental health professional can help uncover any underlying mental or emotional issues that may be preventing you from progressing.

Get quality sleep

Poor sleep can aggravate the pain, so make sure to get quality rest. Regardless of how religiously you take your medicines or follow your treatment plan, if you lack sleep most of the time, your body won’t be able to heal itself properly.

If the pain prevents you from getting quality sleep, ask your doctor if they can prescribe medications to address your sleep problems. Try to follow a regular sleep routine to help establish your body’s internal clock. Training your body to sleep at a designated time can help reinforce good sleeping habits and give you that much-needed rest.

Consider alternatives

Aside from the usual approaches, take time to explore other chronic pain alternatives. Essential oil such as eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary can help relieve the pain naturally. You can also try practicing yoga, massage therapy, and mindfulness meditation.

For a simple option, invest in products you can safely use at home or work. Some of these tools include wedge pillows, heating pads, and neck massagers. Check online for the best neck massagers, and remember to read client reviews. While some of these techniques only provide short-term relief, they can significantly help reduce your pain’s intensity.

Be mindful of your weight

Obesity is not only bad for your health, but unnecessary weight can add more pressure to the chronic pain area. Exercising regularly and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can significantly improve your overall well-being.

With these tips and a positive attitude, managing chronic pain need not be challenging.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 19, 2023

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