Statistics reveal that approximately 8 million Canadians live with chronic pain. Indeed, chronic pain can interfere with your daily life, as you often feel discomfort and exhaustion. Moreover, it’s not unusual for people with this condition to experience anxiety and depression, poor sleep, loss of interest in sex, etc. Fortunately, various solutions can help someone living with chronic pain without compromising their life quality. Despite this, you can sabotage yourself. With that in mind, here’s what you shouldn’t do.
Living with chronic pain: Avoid these five things
Rather than compiling a list of what to do, let’s look at what to avoid. Five things you shouldn’t do are:
1. Let stress pile up
Stress is something you want to prevent if you live with chronic pain. This is because stress increases your heart rate and makes breathing difficult. This, in turn, can trigger your muscles to tense and intensify the pain.
Moreover, your body releases cortisol when you’re stressed, and this hormone can cause inflammation. Therefore, you may find it challenging to alleviate your symptoms if you’re always under stress.
The good news is that you can manage stress effectively with the right steps. You can begin by engaging in activities that calm you down. For instance, you can read your favourite book, take a walk, swim, etc. Consequently, practice breathing exercises and yoga while listening to music to soothe your nerves.
2. Skip exercise
You may want to avoid exercise due to your pain. However, this practice may be more harmful than beneficial.
Admittedly, you shouldn’t overexert yourself until you reach your breaking point. But choosing a sedentary lifestyle can cause you to miss out on the benefits of working out. Research indicates regular exercise increases muscle strength and lowers the risk of developing muscle atrophy.
Moreover, it improves sleep and decreases pain triggers like stress and fatigue. Exercise is also more effective for reducing pain sensitivity than other chronic pain treatments. Therefore, you want to include exercise in your daily routine if you haven’t already.
As a tip, choose workouts best suited to address chronic pain to achieve the best results. You can try cardiovascular exercises like swimming and walking, which help you build endurance while improving your heart health and strength.
Consequently, you can also consider strength-building options, so keep this in mind. As a tip, speak with your healthcare provider to determine specific workouts to target pain-prone areas.
3. Living with chronic pain and not prioritizing chiropractic treatment
Now can be the best time if you haven’t tried chiropractic treatment yet. Studies indicate that this treatment can alleviate chronic pain without surgery, which is excellent news if you prefer non-invasive therapies.
Chiropractic treatment offers various options that you may find beneficial. For instance, soft-tissue therapy relaxes tight muscles, eliminates tension, and releases spasms in the connective tissues.
Chiropractors can also realign your joints to increase your mobility and reduce joint pain. They can also offer sound guidance regarding the best meals to reduce inflammation, so keep this in mind.
Before visiting your chiropractor, have a light but protein-rich meal and drink enough water. Also, take a walk to relax your mind and write down the areas you feel pain so you can tell your chiropractor.
4. Abuse your medication
Doctors usually prescribe pain medications to reduce chronic pain. However, it’s not unusual for people to use these drugs irresponsibly. While they can offer temporary relief, they aren’t enough to help you address your current condition.
And prolonged use can make them ineffective, even if you take them in high doses. Moreover, most pain medications contain opioids, which are highly addictive.
It’s no news that opioid-related deaths have increased this year. Indeed, opioids slow your breathing depth and rate, which can be lethal. Moreover, they can prevent your cells from receiving oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.
Therefore, it becomes essential to stop abusing your pain medication. You’ll find it helpful to pair your medications with other chronic pain treatments to achieve the best results. And if you find that you’re addicted to your medication, you can seek services for opioid addiction.
A medication tracker app can help you to keep track of your meds and identify if you have a problem or are over-medicating so you can work with your doctor to address the issue. Stay organized and see with a simple tap what each medication is for and instructions for proper use.
5. Eat the wrong meals
Your meals can alleviate or worsen chronic pain, so keep this in mind. You’re likelier to prolong chronic pain if you regularly consume high-calorie meals with saturated fats. On the other hand, a nutrient-dense meal with healthy fats and protein may benefit you.
Consider swapping your hunk food for healthy options like nuts, beans, poultry, and fish. Consequently, invest in whole grain foods, fruit, and vegetables for the best results.
A few last words on living with chronic pain
Managing chronic pain gets easier when you know what to do and avoid. Hopefully, the tips above can help in at least a small way, whether for you or a loved one.
What else is best to avoid? If ongoing pain is something you have to cope with, what works well for you? Please share in the comments section below!