If you suffer from a chronic pain condition, you understand that sometimes the simplest daily activities can be a challenge. But even if your condition requires interventional treatment by a pain management specialist, there are some simple modifications you can make in your daily routine that may also help to reduce your pain symptoms.
1. Maintain Good Posture
Posture can have a significant impact on the frequency and intensity of your pain, particularly in the spine. In order to maintain good posture, the 3 natural curves in the spine should be kept in position with its natural curvature.
It is important to pay special attention to your body position and keep your core engaged while performing activities such as lifting, pulling, sitting or standing, so as to lessen the amount of strain placed on ligaments and muscles.
Other ways to improve your overall posture include staying active, maintaining a healthy body weight, wearing comfortable shoes and using chairs that provide proper lumbar support.
2. Stay Active
It’s common knowledge these days that if you want to maintain good overall health and experience fewer painful symptoms, there’s no getting around it; you must do some form of exercise.
You don’t have to sign up for a full-time gym membership, or an intense 2-hour-a-day work-out routine; the important thing is to stay in motion with consistent daily activities such as walking, swimming, biking, or whatever activity you can do safely, as permitted by your pain doctor’s recommendations.
3. Keep Your Stress in Check
We all know this can be a challenge sometimes, but as much as possible, try to relax. Find ways to reduce or eliminate stress in your everyday life by steering clear of situations that cause excess pressure or anxiety for you.
While it’s not possible to eliminate stress entirely from your life, there are methods for helping to diminish the ill effects of stress-inducing factors, such as deep, focused breathing, meditation, or spending time in nature.
Try to do more of whatever works best to ease your symptoms of stress and avoid known anxiety triggers when possible. Taking these steps will improve your overall outlook and help your body to more effectively cope with chronic pain.
4. Lose excess weight
Excess weight applies undue pressure and strain on your spine, which can lead to painful symptoms. It is important to find ways to maintain a healthy body weight. These ways may include exercise, which can play a significant role in achieving weight loss goals, (and improved strength & flexibility,) and eating a healthy, nutritious diet.
There are other simple alterations you can make in your daily routine to further aid in your weight loss efforts, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, (if your pain condition permits,) reducing your sugar intake, or going for a walk after each meal.
5. Stop smoking
Smoking can wreak havoc on your muscles and bones, not to mention your overall general health. The nicotine in cigarettes restricts proper blood flow to spinal disks, which can cause the cushioning in those disks to deteriorate more rapidly, often resulting in back pain.
Furthermore, smoking inhibits the proper absorption of calcium, which is necessary for blood circulation, muscle movement and the release of critical hormones. All of these factors contribute to greater potential for painful physical symptoms, so it is highly recommended to cut out cigarettes if you want to help relieve your chronic pain AND enjoy better overall health.
Even if you commit to only a few of the steps outlined above, keep in mind that by incorporating any of these simple habits into your regular routine, you are increasing the potential for reducing your chronic pain.
Regardless of the source of your discomfort, our expert pain doctors will work with you to find the most effective ways to relieve your individual type of pain so you can regain a more enjoyable quality of life.