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Three Ways to Cope with Chronic Pain

3 Ways to Cope with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a condition that affects nearly 100 million people worldwide, defined as any pain that last longer than 6 months.  Those suffering often feel frustration with their body because they can no longer enjoy moving around freely like they have in the past. Living with chronic pain will cause some adjustments on your end, however you can manage a healthy and active lifestyle. Here are 3 ways you can adjust your life so that chronic pain won’t be such a...pain.

Manage your stress

It’s no secret that stress is directly related to pain and feelings like anger depression, anxiety can increase your body’s sensitivity to it. When you are facing a stressful situation, your muscles tense up as a natural reaction to guard against injury and pain. If you are constantly in a state of stress, your muscles are tense for longer periods of time, which triggers more pain. Learning how to take control of stress will help you be able to find some relief from chronic pain. There are several techniques that you can practice to promote relaxation and decrease stress. Deep breathing exercises are a great way oxygenate the brain while relaxing your mind and body. Meditation is also a great mind-body practice that will help you enter a relaxed, stress-free state. While you are at work, try your best not to overexert yourself, and take frequent breaks to avoid stress buildup. It is important that you take charge of the day, everyday, and not allow chronic pain to rule your life.

Develop a habit of exercise

You may think that moving your body and partaking in physical activities will cause more pain, when actually it’s the opposite! The natural endorphins released while exercising boosts chronic pain relief by blocking pain signals and improving your mood. It is a fact that strong, toned muscles feel less pain than unused muscles, and daily strengthening exercises can help prevent re-injury and more pain. Exercise also helps keep your weight down, which is a great benefit because added weight or obesity only leads to more physical pain. When you develop a habit of exercise and become more fit, you will feel better about yourself and more in control of your life, which is necessary in the fight against chronic pain.

With this condition, some days you will be able to do more physically, while other days may be a struggle. On those difficult days, remember to be kind to yourself and listen to your body. Never try to force physical activity, and be sure to rest as needed. To learn what types of exercise is best for you, consult with your doctor or physical therapist.

Don’t become dependent on prescriptions

Many symptoms of chronic pain are treated through the use of prescription drugs such as opioids and antidepressants. While this may seem like a quick fix, many people end up developing a long-term dependency on prescription drugs, also known as addiction. It is true that those who have had substance abuse problems in the past are more vulnerable to becoming addicted to painkillers, those who have not had such problems are at risk as well. To ensure that you don’t become dependent on your prescriptions, be sure to only take the prescribed amount. Do not wait until you are in too much pain, because this may lead you to take more pills out of desperation for relief. Also, the more you participate in other pain reducing activities, the less pain you will feel which will lessen your need for medication.

It is important that you know that dealing with chronic pain does not diminish your quality of life. If anything, it helps restore your life and gives you a fresh new perspective as you challenge yourself to new heights! Overcoming chronic pain is proof that when life gets tough you do not quit, instead you keep forging ahead to better and brighter days!

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