Saturday, April 30, 2011
Chronic Pain- Don't Let It Get To You - Help Yourself Using Logical Techniques to Manage Pain
Get an Endorphin Boost: Exercise
It's a Catch-22: You're hurting, so you don't exercise; but without exercise, you may lose muscle tone and strength, making pain worse. Fortunately, even mild exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good brain chemicals that lift mood and block pain. Ask your doctor if aerobic, strengthening, or stretching exercises can give your body the boost -- and relief -- it needs
Deep breathing, biofeedback, and meditation are all stress management techniques that relax your body, which helps ease pain.
Although alcohol can help you fall asleep, as it metabolizes, it promotes shallow sleep, reduces important REM sleep, and may even wake you. The result: A less restful night.
Cut Pain: Quit Smoking
Give Your Body a Boost: Eat Better
If you're living with chronic pain, you want to do everything you can to help your body, not hinder it. One way to keep your body strong is to eat a well-balanced diet. Eating right improves blood sugar, helps maintain weight, reduces heart disease risk, and aids digestion. Aim for a diet rich in whole grains, fresh produce, and low-fat proteins.
Journal: Help Your Doctor Help You
Keeping a pain journal can be a great way to help your doctor understand and more effectively treat your chronic pain.
Schedule Relaxation, Set Limits
By taking care of your emotional and physical health, you can better manage your pain. That may mean saying no to events like parties if you need the rest.
You already know that focusing on pain can just make it worse. That's why one potent prescription for relief is to keep busy with activities that take your mind off the pain
Know Your Medicines
Understand the medicines you're taking, what they can do for you, and their side effects. Then educate yourself about other treatment options. Your goal is to have a normal mood and activity level -- if you don't, then a different medicine might be better for you. Your job is to be proactive, to ask questions, and look for answers.
You're Not Alone
As many as one person in every three is dealing with chronic pain, so you're far from alone. Reaching out is the most important habit you can develop to help you deal with chronic pain. Tell friends and family what you're feeling because they won't know otherwise. Ask for help. Learn more about your condition. Then share what you know with others.