Did you know that almost one-fifth of the population experiences chronic pain? Pain is reaching epidemic levels in the US, mirrored by a record level of addiction to painkillers.
Many people think that managing pain is as simple as popping a few pills, using an icepack, and waiting for it to resolve itself. While your pain might eventually go away with this method, it will only come back. To get rid of your pain once and for all, you need comprehensive pain management.
Treating your pain at its source is the best way to minimize or eliminate it from your life entirely. Read on to learn our top tips to treat your chronic pain and to get your life back!
Revamp Your Lifestyle
You can make several lifestyle changes that will reduce your pain and improve your outlook. While these aren’t treatments for chronic pain, they will help you find some relief in the long term:
One of the best ways to address chronic pain is through exercise. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce the severity of chronic pain and improving physical function. You don’t have to turn into a complete gym rat, even walking for half an hour every day can be beneficial.
You must stay within your limits when working with chronic pain. Don’t push it too hard or add too much too fast. Your exercise should make you feel good, it shouldn’t make your pain worse.
Walking and biking are great ways to start slow, getting your blood pumping while respecting your limits. You can also find a simple calisthenics routine that works with your body. Building up your strength with calisthenics is a great way to reduce pain caused by muscle imbalances.
Improved sleeping habits can make a world of difference when it comes to chronic pain. Sleeping allows your body’s natural anti-inflammatory cells to get to work, and your muscles to fully relax. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule and ensuring you get at least eight hours of sleep every night can help ease stubborn chronic pain.
In addition, fatigue can make you more irritable and increase your perceived pain during the day, making your pain feel less manageable. While your discomfort might make it difficult to sleep sometimes, practicing good sleep hygiene can help you drift off more easily.
Making a few diet changes can also help reduce chronic pain. Try to eat a variety of foods, allowing you to nourish yourself without being too strict. Foods rich in Omega-3 fats will help mitigate painful flareups and inflammation.
On the other hand, processed junk food and very sugary or salty foods will have the opposite effect.
Water is the best way for you to keep your body healthy.
Studies have shown that dehydration can make pain feel more intense, and reduces the effectiveness of painkillers and other pain therapies. Proper hydration will lower your perceived pain and help your pain treatments stay effective, so make sure you keep your water bottle with you at all times!
If you’ve tried exercising and are rewarded only with more pain, it’s time to call in some help.
In some cases, the way you move is doing more harm than good. You might have some muscles that are working too hard, while others aren’t working enough. This can result in faulty movement patterns that leave your body aching.
This is a very common cause of chronic pain, but difficult to detect on your own. A physical therapist can assess your gait, how you carry yourself in space, and identify any muscular sources of pain.
With a few targeted exercises, you can restore physical function and reduce your chronic pain.
Seek Interventional Pain Management
Chronic pain can have many sources. Trying to treat your pain at home is just guesswork, and is one of the reasons that your pain just keeps coming back. For stubborn or severe pain, call in the big guns.
If it’s not muscular in nature or isn’t responding to physical therapy, it’s best to seek a pain management specialist. These are experts in chronic pain management who provide you with a variety of treatments for your pain.
Treatments like steroid injections, cortisone injections, and nerve blocks can help reduce inflammation and relief pain that just won’t go away. Other treatments like trigger point injections and PRP can target injured joints.
Treat It at the Source
If you don’t find the cause of your pain, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find relief. Your chronic pain is likely a combination of your medical history, a previous injury, or a genetic condition.
Your pain management physician will go through all the potential causes of your pain. Finding the root of your pain is the best way to eliminate it.
From there, your pain management group will form a treatment plan that will minimize both the symptoms and the condition in the long term. Your plan will be some combination of physical therapy, regenerative medicine, and other minimally invasive treatments. If necessary, you might also get a prescription for some medication, but it’s preferred to treat pain without painkillers.
Eliminate Your Pain With Comprehensive Pain Management
Treating chronic pain is not a matter of grinning and bearing it. It’s not a matter of using painkillers until it goes away. It’s a matter of treating it with a holistic perspective.
Comprehensive pain management allows you to make the lifestyle changes you need while treating your discomfort, so you can live a life you love. Schedule your first appointment with Colorado Pain Experts today to experience the difference!