Millions of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Living with pain every day can be frustrating, debilitating, and affect the quality of your life. The doctors and pain management specialists at Advanced Pain and Spine want you to know there are many things you can do to help prevent chronic pain from controlling your life.
Most adults have an occasional bout of pain as the result of a minor injury, or by lifting something heavy. But, for those who experience pain that lasts for three months or longer, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
If you have a chronic condition that’s causing pain on a regular basis, here are some helpful tips for minimizing your pain so you won’t have to miss out on living your life to the fullest.
1. Rule out any medical problems.
First, and foremost, take chronic pain seriously and seek appropriate medical care to rule out any dangerous health conditions. Once you confirm your pain is the result of a non-life-threatening situation, you can make some adjustments to your lifestyle, diet, exercise, and daily activities to help ease chronic pain and prevent it from recurring.
2. Stretch more.
Depending on the type of pain you have, you can incorporate specific daily exercises that can relieve or prevent pain.
For example, if you have chronic lower back pain, being aware of correct posture while standing and sitting may prevent pain from worsening. Additionally, relaxing and stretching your muscles can help alleviate tension and stiffness.
Over time, when you keep your muscles flexible and strong, they’ll better support your body, and therefore help reduce pain. Consider complementary treatments like yoga and massage therapy which help relax and stretch tight muscles.
3. Reduce risk factors and make small adjustments.
Take preventive measures when it comes to pain. If a particular joint or area of your body is prone to pain, avoid activities that contribute to that.
In other words, if you’ve injured your knee in the past as a result of playing a particular sport, avoid playing altogether, or be conscious of overuse of your injured knee so as not to aggravate it again.
Chronic back, neck, and joint pain may worsen when your daily activities include repetitive movements or postures like slouching or leaning over a desk. Be aware of these behaviors and take a break regularly. If you sit for long periods of time, you should set a timer so you can get up and stretch every hour.
If you have chronic neck or jaw pain, consider a new sleeping position to help prevent pain, and avoid lying on your stomach, which can make neck and jaw pain worse. Simple adjustments to your daily routine and activities can go a long way in relieving physical stress on joints and muscles that cause pain.
4. Maintain a healthy weight and eat pain-killing foods.
Excess weight is often a contributing factor to chronic hip pain, knee pain, lower back pain, and foot pain. Commit to maintaining a healthy weight to prevent pain. Additionally, consider eating foods that help reduce inflammation and pain. Some of these include:
Cherries contain antioxidants to inhibit pain and reduce inflammation to ease arthritis and muscle pain.
These berries contain phytonutrients to reduce inflammation and decrease pain.
This is a natural anti-inflammatory, helps digestion, and helps inhibit pain from migraines, arthritis, and sore muscles.
Turmeric aids in digestion, but also has anti-inflammatory properties to ease achy joints.
Low-mercury, high-omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, herring, and sardines can help alleviate back and neck pain by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation.
Extra-virgin olive oil
This kind of olive oil is rich in a compound called “oleocanthal” that works like ibuprofen on pain. An added benefit of extra-virgin olive oil comes from lubricin, which helps keeps joints working smoothly and protects cartilage. It might also be helpful for osteoarthritis pain.
If you can handle a little heat, these red hots contain capsaicin, which is well-known for its painkilling properties. They help reduce and prevent inflammation and trick your brain into releasing endorphins to block pain signals.
5. Ask an expert.
If you’ve tried home remedies and are making efforts to reduce and prevent chronic pain from recurring, but feel you need additional care, we can help. The expert medical team at Advanced Spine and Pain identifies the source of your pain and offers a variety of non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment options, as well as surgery, for both immediate and long term pain relief.
You don’t have to accept pain as a way of life. Learn more about the latest techniques in comprehensive pain management by calling or scheduling a consultation online with one of our doctors at one of our convenient locations.