Chronic pain – managing your symptoms
Statistics suggest that as many as one in three of us are living with chronic pain, yet for many the condition goes undiagnosed for a long period of time and carrying out those daily activities that used to be a breeze become increasingly difficult without treatment and management.
If you think you may be suffering then the most important thing to do is take action and reach out to both your family and friends and your GP, all of whom will help you to manage and deal with your chronic pain.
Below you can find some simple tried and tested tips, which some sufferers have previously found helpful in the management of their symptoms:
Understandably, exercising when you feel uncomfortable and in pain is not ideal, but if you don’t exercise you may lose muscle tone and strength which could result in the pain worsening. Even mild exercise has the ability to stimulate and release our feel good chemicals (endorphins), so visit your GP to get tips and recommendations about aerobic, strengthening and stretching exercises you could undertake regularly.
- Stop, look and listen
Whilst we are all fully aware that sometimes we just need to…stop, few of us take the time to actually do it. Relaxation, taking deep breaths and meditation are all forms of stress management techniques that could help you to relax your body and your mind – subsequently easing pain. Again, visit your GP to find out more about these kinds of techniques.
- Eat well
Ultimately, what we put into our body effects how it functions overall, so if you’re living with chronic pain you want to optimise the performance of your body and not hinder it by fuelling it with junk food and alcohol. Try to top up on fruit and vegetables and if you are struggling with creating healthy meals you may even want to consult a nutritionist.
- Welcome distractions
If you are sitting at home with nothing to do then understandably you will be focusing on the pain you are experiencing, which can just intensify the situation and subsequently make the pain feel worse. Try to minimise the time you spend doing this, and instead fill up a good healthy portion of your free time with clubs, hobbies and interests to keep your mind engaged and distracted.
If you have been affected by chronic pain, why not browse our Therapy Topics area of the site where you can find information about various complementary and alternative therapies? Many of these therapies involve a holistic viewpoint, meaning that in treatment your entire being is considered and not simply your symptoms – an approach which many chronic pain sufferers have found helpful.
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