If you or a loved one is suffering from pain, it’s essential to identify the cause to be treated properly. It’s also worth understanding how simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in pain management. There are two classifications of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain, which is a reaction to an acute injury, is considered mild. It’s brief and quickly disappears. Pain that’s present over a long period is regarded as chronic and maybe more severe and challenging to manage.
Positive lifestyle changes are effective in helping patients manage their pain. In fact, for some patients, changing some patterns may be all that’s needed to reduce suffering. Positive habits can make the body more efficient at carrying out its natural functions to fight stress and relieve pain. Therefore, these changes will aid pain management, even for those patients who need to take medications to control their pain.
The following are five lifestyle changes that can help reduce chronic or acute pain:
1. Increase Your Physical Activity
You can manage your pain better by doing moderate exercise. For example, walking is an excellent way to manage pain, mainly including stretching exercises in your routine. Stretching can help to relax muscles and increase the flexibility of the spine. Regular physical activity releases endorphins which also improve your mood. You’ll lower your chances of developing back pain, reduce swelling, and ease soreness.
Exercise also has many other positive health effects, including promoting better cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles, and improving the function of your immune system.
2. Improve Your Sleep Quality
Poor sleep can worsen pain, which may be especially true for those who take prescription pain medication. However, if you find that your pain is getting worse because you’re sleeping less, you might be due for an improvement in your lifestyle. Try to get eight hours of sleep per night and try to go to bed at the same time each night. Doing so will help you get the most out of your rest, and it may also help you reduce your pain levels.
If you’re still bothered by pain despite getting more rest and making positive lifestyle changes, you should consult an expert in pain management like St Louis Pain Consultants. They can provide safe and effective solutions for your health problem.
3. Take The Right Supplements
Some people who suffer from chronic pain may benefit from taking health supplements to control their pain. Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium may help fight inflammation in the body while some studies suggest that vitamin B12 is beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Be sure to do your homework and learn as much about health supplements for pain as before adding them to your daily routine.
While a multivitamin and mineral supplement can be a great addition to your lifestyle, you should never rely solely on it when dealing with chronic pain. Your doctor will advise you more thoroughly and help you find the best possible combination of supplements for your specific case.
4. Watch What You Eat
Your diet plays a vital role in how your body fights off stress and pain. There are foods you shouldn’t consume to prevent worsening your condition. Sugar and processed foods should be eliminated from your diet altogether since they aggravate inflammation in the body. Instead, eat fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. The right kind of food doesn’t only contribute to pain relief but can also improve your overall health. And don’t forget to drink sufficient amounts of water every day.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine since these may make chronic pain worse. Caffeine can result in tense or stiff muscles as well as disrupt your sleep pattern. Turning to alcohol for pain relief is a bad idea, too, since it increases risks for dehydration and promotes muscle spasms.
5. Keep Stress At A Minimum
Stress can be a considerable contributor to pain management, and you must keep your stress levels under control. Too much stress won’t only develop other severe health conditions, but it can also aggravate your pain and suffering. Consider learning how to meditate, joining a yoga class, and taking up a relaxing hobby like gardening, knitting, calligraphy, and scrapbooking. These activities help you to relax and also lower your stress levels.
It’s essential to determine what triggers your stress so you can avoid it. If you can do this, you’ll find that your pain and discomfort would be substantially reduced.
Lifestyle changes are some things you can do to help reduce the overall level of pain you’re experiencing. These changes include doing more exercises, getting more rest, taking health supplements, drinking more water, improving your diet choices, and learning to handle stress better. These positive habits may impact how your body responds to physical therapy and other types of pain treatments.
However, you should always consult your doctor before taking health supplements, modifying your prescription, or taking other drugs. When these positive lifestyle changes take effect along with taking the medications prescribed by your doctor, you’ll be able to manage your pain much better and enjoy a better quality of life than you had before.