How To Manage And Cope With Chronic Pain
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Chronic pain can affect anyone, and it can come in many different forms. Managing pain levels and learning to cope with the symptoms can be difficult, but there are some things you can do to minimize your pain and prevent it from taking over. In fact, preventative measures are just as important as pain relief. Talk to your doctor before attempting any new exercise regimen, however, to make sure you won’t be aggravating your symptoms.
Good communication with your doctor is imperative. Not only does he need to know how you’re feeling, but in order to make an informed decision about your care and treatment, he’ll need to know what your daily activities are and how you’re treating your body. This means you’ll need to be honest about your habits–eating, smoking, drinking, etc.–and make an effort to get on a healthy track.
Here are a few tips for the best ways to manage your chronic pain.
Treat yourself well
Schedule monthly or bi-monthly massages to ease your muscles, or create a relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom where you can take a hot bath. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting daily exercise are other examples of the best ways you can prevent chronic pain from becoming overwhelming, although you’ll need to check with your doctor to make sure any exercise program you want to follow won’t exacerbate your symptoms. It’s also important to get enough sleep, at least eight hours a night, and to be sure you’re taking all medications as prescribed.
It’s important to have a supportive group surrounding you when you’re going through chronic pain symptoms. If your friends and family don’t understand how you’re feeling, consider joining a support group where you can talk to others who are coping with chronic pain.
Learn relaxation methods
Massages and hot baths can work wonders for pain, but there are alternative methods you can try such as meditation and breath control. Practicing yoga is a great way to get in exercise while learning mindfulness, which includes focusing on the present rather than worrying about past events or what the future might hold. They are also great ways to learn to cope with stress, which can contribute to chronic pain.
Learn the bad as well as the good
Learning about the things that contribute to your pain as well as the ones that help you feel better will help you make good decisions and keep you from unknowingly adding to your issues. Smoking, stress, not getting enough rest, and drinking alcohol are all things that can contribute to pain.
Keep a journal
Keeping a journal every day full of your activities, diet, and sleeping habits will help you spot issues that may contribute to your pain levels. It will also be helpful for your doctor, so make a point of keeping accurate and detailed notes including a rating of your pain level at the end of the day.
Jennifer McGregor, a pre-med student, co-created the site PublicHealthLibrary.org to help spread reputable health information. She knows how difficult it can be to sift through health info on the web, and wants to change that.
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