It is undeniable that the last months have taken a hit on our physical health and mental well-being. However, alongside the many challenges that have come our way, there are also opportunities that we should not miss out on. Now that the new year has just started, we have a great opportunity to take a project, our career, or a difficult situation in our hands and change it for the best.
Nonetheless, when we don’t feel at our best, it is impossible to see such unmissable opportunities. For example, chronic pain is a condition that affects over 50 million people in the US and causes a significant impact on the lives of half of them. While chronic pain is not always curable, our lifestyle significantly influences how intense or restrictive such pain can feel. So, you can start alleviating with simple changes and return to working on your projects with all of your energy!
Understand What Makes Chronic Pain Worse
There are several types of chronic pain that you might be dealing with. The most common ones include:
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Pain caused by a damaged nerve
- Psychogenic pain
- Postsurgical pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Lower back pain
Chronic pain can have different causes. It can derive from an injury or trauma or can be associated with our lifestyle or underlying health condition. Speaking to your doctor can help you gauge a clear idea of the causes behind the pain.
Once you are clear on what caused you to be in this condition, you can start working towards alleviating its symptoms. In certain cases, such as when dealing with cancer pain, you will struggle to do so. However, when dealing with headaches or lower back pain, there are often some lifestyle aspects that you can modify and improve.
If dealing with pain in your lower back or recurring headaches, you should consider the effects of stress on your daily life. Indeed, it has been seen that the negative feelings associated with stress, anger, anxiety, or depression can significantly worsen your pain by increasing the body’s sensitivity to it.
However, these feelings are deeply connected to how we react to daily events and situations and what our fight-or-flight response is. Changing such an engraved aspect of our lives is not always easy or possible. However, some accessible tools can help you better understand how and why we react in a certain way.
Practices such as deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation can help you focus on your breathing and start raising self-awareness. In this way, you can start putting more intention in your actions and responses, choosing how to act and react. In turn, these practices can help you better manage stress and anxiety.
If you are looking for a way to safeguard your joints and reduce pain, remaining inactive is not the way to go. Indeed, exercise can help your body raise the heart rate and promote the production of endorphins, which can boost your mood and make you feel happier and more energized. Additionally, exercise can help you strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility, preventing injuries, and reducing pain.
However, of course, it is crucial to understand what type of exercise can help you in your condition. Indeed, if you are dealing with lower back pain, lifting weights or focusing on high-impact training might make things worse – especially if performed without the right supervision.
However, there are some kinds of exercise that you should perform every day and can be extremely effective in helping you reduce pain. For example, you might decide to go for walks or light jogging. Alternatively, some low-impact practices, such as yoga and pilates, can help you work on stability, balance, and flexibility while strengthening your muscles.
Speak to an Expert or Join a Group
Sometimes, you might require the help of an expert. Even if you are looking for a natural or medication-free remedy, it is crucial to understand what can help you get efficiently rid of your pain. An expert might also help you understand the underlying causes of your chronic pain, prescribing more appropriate treatments to follow alongside a healthy lifestyle.
For example, your headaches might derive from clenching in the neck’s jaw or stiffness, which can be traced back to your dental or mouth structure. In this case, a specialized dentist might help you find the TMJ Treatment that is right for you and significantly reduce your pain.
Broaden Your Range of Solutions
Sometimes, we don’t see a solution to our pain because we don’t know enough about it. This is a common problem, and many individuals just end up taking painkillers instead of finding the root cause of the issue. However, pain killers will not represent a long-term solution and might cause you to be dealing with the pain for many years to come.
Knowledge, research, and resources are always the first aspects to face before reducing pain with painkillers. You might find that there is already a working solution to help you deal with the pain. You might also find that specialized doctors such as chiropractors can help you find a drug-free solution to your pain.
Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels
Eat More Veg!
Our nutrition and the way we prepare our food has a great impact on our health, often more than we are willing to admit. If you have been indulging in your favorite foods over the holiday season, you have done it all right. However, it is also vital to understand what a sustainable diet is and how to look after our bodies efficiently.
Therefore, you should consider what type of nutrition can help reduce inflammation, raise energy levels, and help you shed that extra weight. Lifestyles such as unprocessed and plant-based have been seen to be effective in reducing chronic pain and improving general well-being.
If you are unsure where to start, speaking to a nutritionist should always be the first point in your action plan. However, there is no better month to start something new than in January! During this time of the year, you can join an always-growing, thriving community and try out Veganuary – the perfect way to experience the benefits of a plant-based diet without having to commit!