How to Manage Chronic Pain for a Better Life
By Elliot Caleira
Chronic pain affects 50 million people--20% of the US population. Chronic pain is anything that lasts longer than 12 weeks. It can be crippling and interrupt your daily activities. It’s something that no one wants to have and can be almost impossible to deal with. To help you manage the pain and frustration that you face every day from chronic pain, here are some of the most common tips that doctors give to their patients who struggle with chronic pain.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
When you experience chronic pain, your entire body clenches up. Your muscles react to pain by becoming tight and knotting up. This only increases the pain that you’re feeling. This is why practicing deep breathing can help you so much. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as they receive a quiet message to relax. Breathing is this quiet message that you can send to your body. A good way to practice deep breathing exercises is by taking a deep breath and breathe in for 8 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, and then breathe out for 4 seconds. Do this again and again until you feel your muscles unclenching. You can also use deep breathing as a form to relax during meditation. There are hundreds of guided meditation practices that you can use to help you get into the habit of relaxing through your breath.
2. Stem Cell Therapy and Biofeedback
Stem cell therapy is a common technique that doctors use to encourage healing in different parts of your body. It is known as regenerative medicine and promotes the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells. One of the most effective treatments is a stem cell treatment for knees that treats pain from arthritis. Biofeedback is almost a treatment that is used for different chronic pains. You can use it for pain associated with the brain--usually headaches and migraines. It trains your brain to combat the pain on its own. It’s not invasive at all and helps to encourage your body to heal itself.
3. Reduce Common Stress
One of the most common things that increases the amount of chronic pain that you feel is stress. When you experience negative emotions like depression, anxiety, and anger, your body becomes more susceptible to pain. If you take control of your emotions and the stress that you face in life, you can find relief from some of the chronic pain that you are feeling. This takes mental effort and strength to overcome your stress. Try listening to soothing music when you’re feeling stress. Music is a great way to tap into a better source of emotions and music can bring you peace. You can also try mental imagery or guided imagery. It involves creating calming, peaceful images in your mind that helps you to relax.
Exercise to also another great technique that helps you to manage chronic pain. As you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals. It also does more by helping to strengthen your muscles. There are a lot of different exercises that you can try in order to manage your pain. You can do classic weigh listing exercises, yoga and pilates, running, and anything else that fits best with your routine and needs.
5. Join a Support Group
Another great thing that you can do is join a support group. This helps you mentally because you have support when you need it. You can talk and interact with people who are there for you. They are going through the same things as you and you can realize that you aren’t alone in this. You will feel less alone.
You should be able to take your life and the reigns that run with it. By doing the right things with your life, you will be able to cope with some of the pain that you have to go through every day.