To ease chronic pain, try the following DIY tactics.
Incredibly, almost one in three Americans are currently suffering from chronic pain. Here are several trusted at-home lifestyle remedies to alleviate soreness and aching, allowing your body to improve and recover.
1. Breathing exercises
One of the reasons that pain develops is because muscles become tight and inflexible, making it difficult to move your body freely. Relaxation methods such as deep breathing can reduce tension and deliver comfort.
To practice deep breathing, think about a point on your abdomen that is about an inch beneath your bellybutton. As you gradually inhale, allow your abdomen to expand at that location. Then slowly release the air.
It may sound ridiculous to think that sleeping could help your condition improve, but studies have shown a strong correlation between sleep disorders and chronic pain. It’s a vicious cycle: pain disrupts sleep, and not getting enough sleep seems to lead to additional pain. For instance, a poll of more than 2000 fibromyalgia patients found that insomnia was one of the top triggers for flareups.
Sticking to a sleep schedule is fundamental, notes Heather Wallace of UK-based nonprofit Pain Concern. Although she notes that “many people with chronic pain dread going to bed as that’s when the pain is worst,” she says you should be proactive, establishing a regular bedtime and trying not to take too many naps.
3. Physical exercise
When you work out, neurochemicals called endorphins are released. These hormones improve the way that we feel both physically and emotionally, stopping pain and enhancing mood. Plus, exercise makes our muscles stronger, which in turn protects us from additional damage and pain.
It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional before beginning an exercise routine so that you don’t overdo it, though. That’s especially critical if you are suffering from heart disease or nerve conditions such as diabetic neuropathy.
4. Smoking & drinking cessation
We all know that cigarettes and alcohol represent unhealthy lifestyle choices. Their connection to pain conditions gives you one more reason to quit, explains Emory University neurologist Neil Lava, MD. “Smoking can worsen painful circulation problems and increase risk of heart disease and cancer,” he says. In terms of drinking, “pain makes sleep difficult, and alcohol can make sleep problems worse.”
Beyond lifestyle changes
Are you suffering from chronic pain? Lifestyle changes can make a big difference, but they will probably not be enough on their own. At Advanced Wellness & Rehab, we provide solutions for resolving painful health issues in a personalized and caring manner. Get a free consultation today.