Living with chronic pain is never easy. In fact, it most likely has a major effect on your way of life. If you suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or chronic back pain, you may have heard health professionals advising you to accept the pain, learn to live with the pain, and pace yourself… but the most important factor in managing pain is the role of the patient. Self-management is the best way to improve your level of activity and keep pain to a minimum.
Here’s 5 things you can do now to deal with chronic pain:
1. Learn deep breathing to help you relax
Let’s start with something simple – breathing – something we all know how to do! Help your body relax by learning some meditation and deep breathing techniques. Tension and tightness seep from muscles when they receive a quiet message to relax. This may help to ease pain as you begin to focus on the breath; fill your abdomen with air, let the air fill from the abdomen up, then let it out (picture a deflating balloon).
2. Boost chronic pain relief with exercise
You may never be in the mood to move your body too much, but exercising can encourage your body to release natural endorphins (the brain chemicals that help to improve your mood while also blocking pain signals). But wait, there’s more. Exercise has another pain-reducing effect; it strengthens muscles, helping you to prevent re-injury and further pain. If you needed another reason to exercise, here it is.
3. Cut back on alcohol and smoking
Why should you reduce your alcohol consumption? The answer is simple. Pain makes sleeping more difficult, and alcohol can make sleep problems worse. Drinking less or no alcohol can improve your quality of life. Additionally, smoking can worsen painful circulation problems, and worsen chronic pain. Consider cutting back and observe the counter-effects it has on your body.
4. Get a massage for chronic pain relief
Massage can help reduce stress and relieve tension. This is because the techniques used relaxes muscle tissue, which in turn reduces painful contractions and spasms. As a result, people living with all sorts of chronic pain use massage therapy regularly to ease their muscles and joint pain, and to improve their sleep. Massage therapy professionals have found using emu oil topically for massage provides the added benefit of reducing inflammation and pain relief. It absorbs into the skin and contains natural healing qualities of Vitamin A, E & Oleic Acid.
5. Eat a healthier diet
If you’re looking for a sign to eat healthy this year – this is it! A well-balanced diet aids your digestive process, keeps weight under control and improves blood sugar levels. A low-fat, low-sodium diet is recommended. Incorporate fresh fruits, veggies, beans and peas, whole-grain breads and cereals, low-fat cheese, milk and yoghurt, and lean meats. Give yourself an extra boost of anti-inflammatory by adding a few drops of pure emu oil to your meals where appropriate – e.g. mixed in cereal, or added into smoothies. After all, health begins from the inside.