Many conditions cause sufferers to live with chronic pain, including those that fall under the rheumatology umbrella, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, there are plenty of chronic pain management strategies that may provide relief to those who are suffering from chronic pain issues regardless of the reason why. We share some of those chronic pain management tips below.
Physical activity may seem contradictory. After all, you are already in pain and surely moving more would cause more pain?
However, this is not the case. In fact, physical activity is one of the most important tools in chronic pain management. It keeps your joints flexible and the muscles around those joints strong.
There are a few caveats to this tip, however. First, remember to keep the exercises low-impact, such as swimming, walking and strength training. Second, remember to cool down and warm up. Third, start slow and add repetitions with time. Fourth and finally, stay hydrated.
Some days are better than others. However that doesn’t mean that you should overdo it on those days or you may end up feeling it for a long time after. Pace yourself so that you don’t aggravate the source of your pain.
Chronic pain is not easy or forgiving, so be careful with the kind of goals you set for yourself. Make sure they are obtainable and don’t rely on “good days” to be accomplished.
Also remember to be kind to yourself. Whether your goal is to take the dog around the block or to go a little longer on the treadmill, remember that these goals will benefit you both physically and mentally.
Also remember to reward yourself for hitting the milestones you set for yourself. Accomplish what you can rather than obsessing on what you can’t.
There are many sources available online to help you find healthy, anti-inflammatory diets. In particular there are certain foods that help reduce inflammation to ease pain, so consider incorporating more of those foods.
Some of these foods include tuna and salmon, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and help those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. There are also fruits, which contain carotenoids that help fight inflammation at the cellular level.
Pain is the body protecting itself, but chronic pain is stressful on the body. For this reason, engaging in relaxing activities like yoga, deep breathing, massages and stretching can help alleviate some of the stress.
Try and find small things you enjoy, such as watching a movie or reading a book, to distract yourself from the pain. Even one hour of distraction time can be an escape from the realities of chronic pain. This won’t cure your pain, of course, but it may help raise your quality of life by making your overall level of pain bearable.
Another way to relax is by writing out your feelings. Journaling can help you release negative feelings, and exploring your thoughts can help you think of a plan for making life easier for yourself in the future. Over time, you can see the progress you’ve made and remind yourself of the good things you have. Journaling can help you focus on the good things and positives of your life.
No matter what you choose to do to help your chronic pain, know that you are not suffering alone. There are communities out there filled with other chronic pain sufferers, and reaching out to some of these communities may help you find other tips and tricks for managing your pain. Make sure you are in communication with your doctor and healthcare team so they can manage any clinical interventions needed for your chronic pain.