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Small Things You Can Do To Relieve Chronic Pain

Small Things You Can Do To Relieve Chronic Pain

As the word “chronic” suggests, this is a form of pain that persists for a very long time or is constantly recurring. In medicine, any pain that continues beyond half a year qualifies as chronic pain. There are varying degrees of chronic pain, ranging from mild to extreme, recurrent, to constant,  and so on.

Considering the lengthy amount of time many people spend suffering chronic pain, it is not surprising that it can also contribute to negative emotional side effects. Suffering from a kind of continuous pain only known to yourself and fellow sufferers can have a detrimental impact on mental health and personal relationships. Thus, it is critical that you take initiative and responsibility for your chronic pain and be aware of things that you can do to alleviate your suffering. Of course, when the chronic pain suffered reaches a point where you are unable to continue with your daily life, seek medical attention immediately.

If more serious issues have been ruled out as the cause of your pain, here are 15 small things that you can do to relieve chronic pain:

Do Not Ingest Foods Containing Solanine

Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison that is found in common foods such as potatoes, with its pesticidal properties serving to enhance the plant’s natural defenses. These backyard foods are popular and often served with meals. The source of the problem is that some people are unable to metabolize solanine; it consequently accumulates in their major organs and creates health problems for them, potentially including chronic pain. Avoid nightshade vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, eggplants, chilies, goji berries). Also avoid products/foods that utilize potato starch as this can help alleviate the chronic pain experienced by some people.

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Do Take Supplements

Even though there has been a lot of debate about the use of natural and synthetic supplements, the consumption of either one can help to complement everyday meals that may be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. Moreover, for people suffering from chronic pains, there are certain kinds of supplements that help with nerve functions, muscles and joint recovery. Although supplements are recommended, you should always check with your certified general practitioner for more information and to advise you accordingly.

Do Light To Moderate Exercise

As a sufferer of chronic pain, engaging in heavy or intense exercise would be difficult for you, but yet it is still hard to ignore the incredible benefits exercise can bring. Exercise can help to reduce your chronic pain and improve your quality of life. By exercising, you enjoy the effects of better sleep which reduces your reliance on pain medication; whilst also contributing to healthier mood with a greater release of endorphins.

Avoid Alcohol

An ever-present beverage culturally, alcohol is drunk for a range of purposes, for enjoyment- and even for pain management. When suffering from chronic pain, it is essential to get a good night’s sleep in order for the body to be able to heal well and to avoid further physical tension accumulating. By partaking in alcohol consumption, you are depriving your body of deep sleep as alcohol is known for promoting shallow sleep. Thus, you give yourself a less restful night whilst increasing your levels of chronic pain.

Distract Yourself From The Pain

Another simple trick that you can do is to simply distract yourself from the pain. Albeit not a very wise choice in the long-run, the reality is that it still works for a short period of time. Upon feeling the onset of your chronic pain, turn on your favorite TV show or enjoy a board game with your loved ones. Focus on that activity and choose to ignore the pain. Eventually, the intensity of the pain should subside and you’ll emerge stronger and more prepared for future attacks.

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Avoid Vibrations

There have been plenty of reports alerting us to the risks of long-term exposure to vibrations, particularly for people suffering from chronic pain. Chiropractic research has suggested that long-term exposure to vibrations are one of the main causes of chronic pain, in particular – repetitive vibration and hand-arm vibrations. If you are currently in a job where you are regularly exposed to either type of vibration and you also suffer from regular pain attacks, it is possible that vibrations are your primary “trigger”. Take action and visit a medical professional as soon as you can in order to create an effective treatment plan.

Educate Your Friends And Family About Your Condition

It’s important for your family, friends and loved ones to understand your condition and the kind of pain you are suffering in order to prevent any misunderstandings, miscommunication, and also to equip them with the relevant knowledge and skills to help you when the chronic pain hits. It’s important to always talk about your feelings and experiences; this is highly recommended by psychologists since it promotes healthier mental well-being, encourages a person’s spirits, whilst allowing both you and your loved ones to be well-informed and actively involved in their pain management. Take the time to talk to your loved ones to prevent your personal life and relationships from being negatively affected by chronic pain.

Join A Support Group

Not only is it important to let you friends and loved ones be there for you during your time of need, there are other forms of support you can rely on, including support groups. Attend a support group for people going through chronic pain. Although you may suffer from different types and varieties of chronic pain, you’re confiding in people who understand your pain, and this can make you feel like you are less alone in your struggle. Not only do you gain pillars of support through joining such a group, but some of these people will likely be survivors of extreme chronic pain, or people who have been suffering from chronic pain for longer than you have. From these meetings, you can learn important lessons and new approaches to coping with the pain.

Don’t Stress – Relax

We are all human. We need to accept our limits and flaws, and learn to not be afraid to acknowledge them. By taking control of our emotional and physical health, you are taking control of your battle with chronic pain and are on the path to recovery. Have the courage to say no to activities that may tire you, and be firm when you decide on what is the best choice for your health. Schedule in activities that bring positive emotional effects like boosting your morale and don’t be afraid to customize your own schedule for maximum relaxation, because truly, it is all up to you.

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Don’t Smoke

Once again, it is common knowledge that smoking is a health hazard and this is even more so for people suffering from chronic pain. Smoking is known for being able to increase a patient’s chronic pain and is linked to other severe diseases and health conditions. Naturally, some may turn to smoking as a stress reliever or as a form of pain management, but this does the body more harm than good as smoking can make it harder for a person to respond to chronic pain treatment. If you live with someone who smokes, consider getting an air purifier for cigarette smoke. Smoking also negatively influences a person’s perception of and sensitivity to pain. Stay away from smoking.

Stay Hydrated

The health benefits of drinking water are clearly established as we need water to live and our bodies consist of 75% water, and our brains, 85%. Dehydration is one of the primary causes of many illnesses and diseases, with chronic pain being one of them. It is important that we consume enough water to keep ourselves hydrated, eliminate toxins from our body and replenish any water that we have lost during this process. You need to provide your body with the essential tools it needs to fight chronic pain, and water is one of these tools.

CONSUME TURMERIC

Turmeric is a household Asian spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This medicinal root also contains antioxidants, has been associated with cancer prevention, and due to containing curcumin, it has the ability to reduce inflammation naturally without causing any liver or kidney damage. One of the reasons why chronic pain occurs is due to the occurrence of inflammation in the body. This can lead to severe chronic pain if you ignore any form of treatment. Turmeric is particularly useful for assisting medical conditions like arthritis or sports injuries, for example. Scientific research has revealed that turmeric may also potentially aid those suffering from asthma and cancer, so go ahead and try this miraculous spice for yourself.

Do Yoga And Meditate

Yoga advocates for a perspective to chronic pain that involves unlearning harmful reactions to pain that only exacerbate the problem. The use of relaxation exercises can help sufferers to teach their body healthy ways to cope with pain. Relaxation has been proven to be particularly healing for sufferers of chronic pain. It switches off your stress response, reduces your stress levels and thus turns the energy within your body towards growth, repair and other beneficial health processes. Make a point to learn and practice a few yoga relaxation poses to help further your healing process.

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Maintain Good Posture

We get so busy these days that it’s often hard to make time for any exercise, and often we forget about maintaining good posture. Whether we are at work or slouched in front of the TV, good posture is essential in fighting chronic pain. Avoid slouching (also fondly known as the “C-slump”) as slouching is known to make a person particularly vulnerable to back problems. Slouching prevents your weight from being evenly distributed between the joints and muscles in your back, and uneven weight distribution taxes the lower back muscles and tendons, thus increasing the risk of sprains and strains. Bad posture can weaken or damage your nerves and blood flow as well. Make it a point to maintain proper posture, or even just consistently sit up straight throughout the day and you’ll begin to see wonderful results.

Use Heat Pads

This is probably the most commonly used solution for temporary relief for your chronic pain. Simply apply cold packs or hot packs (according to your preference) to any area you feel pain to enjoy quick and effective relief. Heat packs help to direct heat to the source of pain and the heat helps to encourage greater blood flow in that area. Application of a heat pack to the source of your chronic pain will stimulate the sensory receptors in that area, impeding the transmission of pain signals to the brain, and creating pain relief.

Although chronic pain may seem incredibly dreary and tiresome, with small changes to your life, and making sure that you receive professional medical advice, you can and will begin to see a great difference in your quality of life. Think about it: no one is going to be able to make that pain go away except for you. Have courage, and take the initiative to step forward and be actively involved in your healing process. Only then will you reap the fruits of what you have sowed.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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