Lifestyle Management For Chronic Pain

Chronic pain condition can be very demanding and living with it is the most difficult task. You may be experiencing chronic pain due to various conditions like those affecting the muscles and joints, injuries or other disorders. Whatever may be the cause, pain is always troublesome; especially when it is chronic pain. But don’t worry. There is something to your rescue…. that is lifestyle management.

If chronic pain is almost a part of your life now, it is time you modify your lifestyle. These simple healthy changes can help in making a great difference not only in your pain condition but also your overall health.

Lifestyle Management For Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain? Modify Your Lifestyle

Although it is not as simple as it is said, modifying your lifestyle isn’t that difficult too. It can be done only if you decide to do it. So the first thing is to believe that incorporating a healthy lifestyle can help you with your pain condition. The next is to understand the different aspects involved in it and then you begin.

Basic Principles Of Lifestyle Management

Some basic principles of healthy living include the ‘secret of 5 Ps’. With an understanding of these, half of your work is already done.

  • Plan a healthy routine
  • Prepare a balanced diet
  • Participate in physical activities
  • Pursue hobbies and interests
  • Practice relaxation strategies

Healthy Routine

Begin your day with a refreshing cup of green tea and activities like yoga or walking in open air. Schedule your day with sufficient time for yourself, your exercises, rest and recreational activities. Talk to your friends. Perform work related activities that you are comfortable with like reading, writing, working on computer, etc. End you day in a calm environment with relaxing music or light reading.

Balanced Diet Can Help You Cope With Chronic Pain

What to eat, when and how? Too many questions may bother you. Eat the right food at the right time; eat when you are hungry. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important; so aim for it. Reducing some amount of weight can always help to reduce your pain.

  • Complex Carbs – You body needs food for energy, so give it the foods that provide energy for long. Whole wheat bread, flour or pasta, oatmeal, cornflakes etc are the best options. Avoid all refined or processed foods and simple sugars like refined flour, biscuits, pastries, cakes, and sweets. If there are no weight loss and health issues, these are best kept for only occasional treats.
    Vegetables and fruits are a wonderful source of both complex carbs and other vital nutrients. Have a colored plate with a mix of green, orange, red colored vegetables and fruits in your balanced diet.
  • Power Proteins – Power pack yourself with proteins. Eggs, fish, poultry and lean cuts of meat, sprouts can be a good choice.
  • Fight Fats – Go for only good fats that give omega-3-fatty acids like those in fish, almonds, flaxseeds, etc. Restrict yourself from butter, cheese, cream and saturated fats. Low fat options of milk and milk products can be taken.

Eat in moderation, choose the best foods and refrain from high-calories, high-fat foods that can add to your weight. Have handy foods like buttermilk, soymilk, green tea, nuts, crackers, etc to munch on when you are hungry in between meals. Avoid smoking and alcohol as it can worsen the pain condition.

Healthy Activities Helps To Fight Pain

The biggest mantra to fight your pain is to remain active. The more you stop moving; worse can be your pain. Within pain tolerated limits, continue with simple activities that you enjoy. With proper medical consultation, plan regular exercises for yourself and perform them as suggested. They may include exercises for cardiovascular fitness, improving range of motion, flexibility, strength training, etc. Simply said, a daily 20 to 30 min walk and some stretches can keep you just fine.

Apart from exercises, activities of interests play an important role in relieving your stress. Stress being one of the biggest barrier in your improvement; you need to fight it with all your strength. Develop your coping strategies and plan ways to be happy. Whether it is playing simple games, reading books, painting or music, as long as you are happy doing it; go for it.

Music and art have also proved to be beneficial is fighting stress and relieving pain conditions. Join a support group, laughter group, meditation class or just a group of friends that can give you encouragement and some relaxation too.

Now, make an attempt to inculcate these 5 Ps into your daily life. Go slow. Everything cannot change in a day. Plan your modification strategy rationally, taking into consideration, your health and other requirements. Seek help from an expert wherever appropriate. Lifestyle changes work better and stay longer when made gradually. Patience and perseverance is the key to success. So begin with a firm mind, improve gradually and let the benefits shower for long.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 12, 2018

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