When you are affected by pain, daily life, normal activities, and hobbies can become a challenge. Even the amount of sleep you get, the thoughts you have, and basic daily tasks can be negatively affected by pain.
Your quality of life and desire to resume regular activities plays an important role in maintaining your health and managing your pain. There are some positive changes you can make to your lifestyle and simple changes to your daily life that make managing your pain easy.
Lifestyle Changes that Make Living With Chronic Pain Easier
Exercise can help those in pain find the relief they are looking for. Cardio exercise utilizes large groups of muscles and raises your heart rate. This combination releases endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural opiate (painkiller). Studies show that exercising for 30-45 minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise is recommended and can help reduce pain.
Be sure to talk to a doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Pain interferes with sleep – that’s a no brainer. When you are in pain, you are unable to achieve proper REM cycles and relax enough to get uninterrupted sleep. Pain can cause issues when falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
Certain medications can also cause problems with sleep. If your medication causes drowsiness and fatigue, you may be more inclined to sleep during the day which can mess with your sleep at night. Getting the right amount of sleep at night is crucial to how your body copes with pain and how your body harnesses its energy levels.
Here are some ways to sleep better:
- Stick to a Routine: Creating a sleep routine can help you sleep better. Going to bed at the same time and setting an alarm for the same time every day can help train your body to get more meaningful rest.
- Watch What You Eat and Drink: Certain beverages – such as alcohol or caffeine – can affect your sleep patterns. Heavy meals have the same affect. If you have a snack before bed, eating something healthy like almond butter on toast, crackers and cheese, or nuts and fruit are great alternatives.
- Relaxation: Practicing relaxation techniques before bed can help get your mind and body prepared for a restful sleep. Try things like listening to soothing music, practicing deep breathing, and writing in a journal.
Reduce Stress Factors
Stress and pain go hand-in-hand. Your body may react in different ways when there is stress involved, such as tense muscles or headaches. This can be avoided by reducing stressors and managing stress levels.
Stress can cause negative impacts on your work ethic, eating habits, mood, and relationships. By keeping track of what stresses you out and considering how it affects your life. By eliminating or minimizing the stressors in your life, you may find ways to make your days or weeks go smoother.
Taking your life back from the pain caused by chronic diseases can be solved by adjusting your routine and activities. Contact the team at Progressive Pain Management to learn how to manage your chronic pain. Use the form below to get started.
People who live with chronic joint pain know how debilitating it can be. Joint pain makes doing daily activities difficult and typically has a negative effect on the quality of life. It can steal away joy from doing the things they love and spending time with loved ones.
Chronic joint pain affects approximately 100 million Americans each year. Fortunately, there are exercises and self-care practices that help reduce and maintain pain. Exercises are designed to reduce inflammation, increase mobility, strengthen joints, and regain range of motion. Ideally, by implementing an exercise routine, there is no need for medication to manage the pain.
Working with a physical therapist or pain specialist is a great way to learn the proper exercise techniques that will help manage and reduce chronic pain. It’s important to remember not to force exercise or continue if it worsens your pain. Listen to you body and do what feels best!
Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Types of Exercises to Reduce Chronic Joint Pain
Stretching helps relieve tension and stiffness that causes joint pain. Stretching does not require any equipment, so these can be done at-home, on-the-go, or even at work. Stretches are designed for certain areas of pain, like knee pain, neck pain, and back pain.
Cardiovascular exercises have a large impact on chronic pain and reducing symptoms that are caused by living with pain. Little-to-no equipment is needed for cardio exercises and they are relatively easy to incorporate into your daily life. Walking is the easiest way to get moving and increase your heart rate, endurance, and strength. If walking is challenging at first, start with short walks and slowly build up the distance overtime.
Swimming and water aerobics are another great cardio option for those living with chronic pain. Being in the water takes the pressure off your joints so you can exercise with ease. This is especially important for patients with low-mobility. Moving in the water adds natural resistance while no additional stress or pressure on your joints is present. Being in the water is often therapeutic, too. Improving your mood is critical to managing chronic pain.
Low-Impact Group Classes
Low-impact exercises are a great way to build muscle strength to better support joints that cause pain. Group setting classes, such as cycling or aerobics, can be beneficial to pain patients. Group classes are usually designed around a certain level of ability, meaning pain patients can take classes that best suit their needs and functions. Group settings are also great for accountability, which is important when trying to exercise regularly.
Cycling, for example, is a smoother motion for the joints than jogging, which can cause further damage and pain. If your pain levels allow, trying cycling a few times a week. The pedaling motions and breathing rhythms are excellent for increasing oxygen flow to the muscles and releasing endorphins that reduce chronic pain.
Exercises that focus on balance, core strength, and self-awareness like Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are excellent for managing pain. They improve coordination and balance, which helps increase a sense of where joints are located and how to relieve tensions and pressure on those joints. These exercises include moves that increase flexibility and range of motion. This can loosen joints, which improves their function.
These exercises will help teach proper posture and body positions that align your joints and muscles, in hopes that your pain will be reduced. At Progressive Pain Management, our team can help create a plan incorporating exercise with interventional pain management techniques.
Fill out the form below to learn more.