July 2, 2021
If you like gardening but don’t get to do it as often as you like because chronic pain makes it too difficult, there’s good news for you: gardening can have many positive effects on physical and mental health, and may actually help reduce your chronic pain.
There are many pain management experts who recommend gardening as part of overall treatment plans for some patients. This method is known as horticulture therapy, and has been known to reduce pain and stress, improve attitude and even decrease the need for prescription pain medications in many patients.
It is important to consult with your pain physician prior to engaging in any physical activity, including gardening. But there are many different options available to get you back engaging in your garden, including raised garden beds or container gardening.
Your pain doctor will assess your individual situation and provide the expert advice you need in order to gain the benefits of gardening without making your pain condition worse.
Here are some of the physical and psychological benefits of gardening:
- Keeps Your Body in Motion
Pain symptoms can be made worse by a sedentary lifestyle, so it’s important for chronic pain sufferers to engage in as much physical activity as possible, within guidelines recommended by your pain doctor. Gardening provides a moderate level of activity to keep the body in motion without high-impact or overwhelming exercises.
- Gardening can be Therapeutic
Connecting with nature and being exposed to fresh air and natural sunlight are known to bring about relief and relaxed feelings in the human body. The light outdoor exercise helps the body produce endorphins (feel-good chemicals), which help to increase tolerance to pain and improve overall mood.
We already know that stress and anxiety can increase inflammation and pain symptoms. Gardening helps to lower levels of a stress hormone called cortisol in the body, and in the process reduces stress while improving mood and immune function.
- Mental/Emotional Health Benefits
When you indulge in an effortless activity that sparks your creativity and generates a sense of accomplishment, your overall perspective and disposition are improved. This is helpful in coping with stress, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, and enables the body to better tolerate the physical symptoms of chronic pain conditions.
If your garden includes vegetables, herbs and other healthy foods, you get the added reward of nutritious, organic eating as a result of your efforts. Many pain specialists recommend a healthy diet as part of an overall pain relief regimen because eating the right foods can often help reduce pain.
For so many reasons, gardening can be very beneficial for you and help to relieve your pain. Moderate exercise, reduced stress and healthy food can all work together to help you achieve a better overall feeling of well-being, and in many cases, with fewer pain symptoms.
Is gardening something you really love but haven’t enjoyed since your chronic pain ‘took over’? It’s quite possible that you can enjoy it again despite your pain, and that it may actually help reduce the pain that’s been keeping you from a favorite hobby.
If you’re missing out on activities you love because of your chronic pain, talk to your pain doctor and find out what can be done to get you started on a path toward a better quality of life.
Are You Missing Out on Activities You Love Because of Chronic Pain?
When it comes to your unique kind of pain, there is no cookie-cutter solution for relief. Depending on your condition and the type and intensity of your pain, your pain specialist may recommend any combination of treatment methods, including surgical procedures, physical therapies, dietary/lifestyle changes or medications.
If you suffer from chronic pain, the expert pain management physicians at Riverside Pain Physicians can help. We will work with you to determine the cause of your pain and develop an individualized treatment plan to relieve your suffering and restore quality of life.
Reach out to us today at Riverside Pain Physicians by calling 904.389.1010 or click here to make an appointment online.
Tags: Chronic Pain Management, Chronic Pain Treatment, Pain Management Physicians Jacksonville