Dealing with chronic pain can be overwhelming and disheartening. Pain can make it difficult for you to perform essential daily tasks that you need to carry out for your job, your home, your family, and your own health. If you have persistent pain that’s affecting your routine, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause. If the recommended treatment is medication or invasive surgery, you may want to ask if it’s possible to try natural methods first. In many situations, these approaches can help keep your pain at a much more manageable level.
1. Exercise Often
For many people, the source of their pain is stiff, sore, or achy joints. For some, this can come from overuse while others may develop it as part of the aging process. Either way, it’s important to rest them as needed but to keep them as mobile as possible. Frequent, gentle movement can help keep your body from becoming stiff and uncomfortable. Walking is an easy solution, along with swimming, yoga, stretching, or any other low-impact exercise.
2. Watch Out for Inflammatory Foods
Some foods can make the pain in the body even worse because they can trigger inflammation, one of the most common causes of pain. Some of the worst foods for pain include:
- Junk food, such as chips, cookies, or anything highly processed
- Sugary drinks, including juice and soda
- Fried foods
- Refined, simple starches, such as white rice, white flour, or cereal
- Red or processed meats, including beef, hot dogs, bacon, and sausage
Avoid these kinds of foods and fill your plate with nutrient-rich options instead. If you have a hard time getting enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet, consider supplementing with the thrive patch.
3. See a Massage Therapist
Muscle pain and tension can often be vastly improved with therapeutic massage. Find a therapist who specializes in pain relief and try to see them on a routine basis. They can help relieve tension and pain while offering support and advice on how to move and carry your body properly to minimize damage and pain. They can also suggest devices, treatments, and exercises you can use at home to care for yourself between sessions.
4. Use Cold and Hot Compresses (The Right Way)
As old-fashioned as it may seem, using a hot or cold compress really can be an effective way to minimize swelling and pain. However, be sure you use the right strategy to avoid unnecessary complications. Always make sure there is a barrier between the compress and your skin to avoid painful damage. Also, never sleep with a heating pad or cold pack in place.
Most experts recommend alternating between the two in 15- to 30-minute intervals. The heat helps relax muscles while the cold helps reduce inflammation. The temperature should be comfortable, not harsh.
5. Keep Stress Under Control
One surefire way to kick your chronic pain into high gear is to elevate your stress levels. When you’re stressed, your muscles tend to tense up even more than normal, especially in your neck, shoulders, and back. Stress has a negative effect on the body if it’s long-lived or frequent, so it’s important for you to keep it under control.
First and foremost, remove every stressor that you can from your life. If you can step away from overwhelming responsibilities or at least ask for help, do it. Give yourself enough time to get plenty of sleep, enjoy fun and positive activities, and stay connected with family and friends. Many people find that seeing a mental health professional for talk therapy can help them better manage their stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues, all of which can contribute to chronic pain.
If you’re dealing with long-term or serious pain, talk with your doctor about which natural management techniques you can safely incorporate into your treatment plan. These small changes can help you enjoy a better quality of life.