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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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