Start journey to living with less pain
Create healthy habits not restrictions! Even in chronic pain managment healthy habits can help to reduce symptoms for long term.
1. Take your pain medications as prescribed
Taking your medications on time and in the right amounts is very important for managing pain. Avoid yo-yo medicating, and work closely with your doctor to make sure the dose, type, and timing of your medication are safe and effective. Remember that most pain medications can become less effective over time. Instead, they are to help improve functions like proper sleep and movement so you can better manage your pain actively.
2. Make sleep a priority
Your body repairs itself during sleep. Have you noticed that when your sleep is poor your pain is regularly worse? Even small changes to your sleep habits can really help!
- Organize the times with consistency and go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
- Avoid eating three hours before bed.
- Avoid watching TV or looking at a computer/handheld device 1–2 hours before bed.
- Create a comfortable, soundless, and dark sleeping environment. Including trying out different beds and reclining chairs for comfort. It even means that if your spouse or partner’s snoring keeps you awake, sleep in another room.
- Avoid having the lights on or TV while you sleep.
- Try a mindfulness technique if you are feeling stressed.
- Mobile apps can help you create good sleep habits.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Nutrients like protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals are important to help your body fight pain. If your diet is not balanced, chances are that your body’s ability to control pain will not be good. A balanced diet consists of:
- Eat 4–6 smaller meals during the day.
- Drink 8–10 200ml glasses of water per day.
- Include fresh fruit and vegetable in each meal.
- Have some protein with each meal. This includes meat, nuts, seeds, dairy, and protein powders.
- Good fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil as well as fish oils high in Omega-3 fight pain at cellular levels.
- Reduce alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and starches like bread and pasta.
- Avoid all processed and fried foods.
- Supplements: A daily intake of the right minerals, vitamins and trace elements can be beneficial. Check with your doctor before starting any supplements to maintain a balance in Your daily requirement.
- Learn more information about the diet and nutritionist’s consultation will be very helpful to create a personalized and balanced plan.
4. Use mindfulness tools to manage stress and pain
This is in common for many people, that when stress increases, pain increases as well. In a stressful state, the hormone Cortisol rises and this plays a big role in pain induction. Millions of people use mindfulness tools like meditation, qigong to calm the mind, reduce emotional stress, and reduce pain.
5. Move your body
The expression “use it or lose it” is relevant when talking about movement and pain. For most people with constant pain, movements, like walking, turning, bending, and reaching, are painful. When something is painful, we usually avoid it. This creates a cycle of pain and movement issues where movement creates pain which restricts movement which creates more pain. So, how do we break the cycle?
- Check with your physician before starting any type of movement therapy
- If you are siting a lot, get up every 30 minutes and walk around gently swinging or shaking your arms. Move slowly and lightly. Set an alarm and turn it into a game.
- Take deep breaths throughout the day to improve circulation and reduce stiffness.
- Find and start a gentle movement class like qigong, individual physiotherapy sessions or water aerobics.
- A free movement program online.
6. Be social
We usually don’t want to be around others when we hurt. Research has shown that being socially isolated increases our perception of pain, as well as other health issues. It is important to be around others even when we hurt. For example, have a regularly scheduled visit with friends and family at and outside of your home each week.
7. Goal setting
Let’s face it, making changes to our lifestyle is challenging. It takes dedication and consistency but is usually more than worth the effort. The key to making lasting changes is to use a foolproof goal-setting system. Here are some tips used for making and achieving your goals successfully.
- Work on one thing at a time.
- Be very specific.
- Make sure you can measure your progress.
- Make sure the goal is challenging but doable.
- Set a time limit to achieve your goal.
- Tell your goals to your friends and family so they can support you.