Every day our rheumatologists help patients who are dealing with chronic pain. Their experience in dealing with rheumatic diseases and many other painful conditions lets them know that a patient can be devastated when dealing with daily pain, no matter where that pain is. Back, hip, knee, shoulder, hand, or pain in any part of the body can eventually wear a person down and make them depressed and unable to do the things they once enjoyed. If you are dealing with chronic pain there are some things you can do to alleviate the pain and learn to work around it. Here are some tips that might make it easier for you to cope with the pain and overcome the mental, emotional, and physical problems it can causes in the long term.
Tips For Coping With Chronic Pain
Reduce Stress – If you find something, or even someone, causes you stress try to reduce or eliminate the amount of time you spend around the stressor. Stress, and its accompanying negative feelings, can actually increase the amount of pain you feel.
Don’t Drink or Smoke – Cigarettes may actually reduce your ability to heal and of course can cause other problems. Alcohol actually makes it harder to sleep, which increases you stress and makes you more sensitive to pain.
Learn to Meditate – Meditation and deep breathing techniques can help you relax. Relaxation allows abused muscles to take a break, which can help reduce the pain you feel. Meditation also gives you a way to take control of your thoughts and potentially even learn to ignore your pain.
Exercise* – As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, exercise causes endorphins to be released that can help reduce pain.
Stretch* – Stretching increases your flexibility which makes it easier to move and get around the pain.
Practice Yoga* – A great way to combine meditation, exercise, and stretching is to take up yoga. A good yoga instructor, or yogi, can modify almost any technique to your particular physical condition.
Eat Right – Certain foods contain chemicals that seem to assist in clearing out toxins in your body, which may increase your sensitivity to pain. A good diet can also help you maintain your proper body weight, which reduces the amount of stress on your joints and muscles.
Get Support – There are many support groups available to pain sufferers. Some groups are general pain management groups and others deal with specific conditions. A good support group can help you realize you’re not alone and find other ways to deal with the mental and physical aspects of pain.
The First Step To Reducing Pain Is Great Medical Care
It is important to understand the ways in which you can deal with pain on your own, but it’s more important to get great medical care. Meeting with a pain management physician can make the difference between controlling pain and letting pain control you. The rheumatologists & pain management physicians at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute can properly diagnose your condition and then provide top-notch cutting edge medical care to help you get relief. Make an appointment today with a physician at IBJI to start feeling the relief you desperately need.
*Always talk to a physician before beginning any new exercise or stretching regimen.
This information is not intended to provide advise or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s).