Strategies to cope with chronic pain

Chronic pain is a persistent pain that lasts for a long time (from weeks to months). Chronic pain is an invisible illness and can occur anywhere in the body. Chronic pain can arise due to a simple problem like bad postures to a complicated disease like arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis and others. Here are few relief strategies for chronic pain sufferers.

Distraction:

Distracting yourself from the source of pain is the first step to overcoming the pain. Distraction techniques take off your attention from the pain, thus reduces your perception of pain. These methods may include: focusing on things you love to do like watching television, reading books, listening music or spending time with family or friends.

Also, hobbies like knitting and sewing are the possible activities to divert yourself when you are restricted to move with pain.

Practice relaxing techniques:

When you are in pain, practicing relaxation techniques on a daily basis can be helpful to lower the pain. Deep breathing and meditation are two relaxation techniques that help to relax your muscles and ease pain.

Yoga asana learned from a professional and expert can also help in reducing pain and relax your body and mind.

Exercise:

Dr. Ravi Krishna, Pain Medicine specialist, Apollo Clinic Velachery, Chennai explains the research going in the field which suggests that daily exercise plays a significant role in the treatment of chronic pain. Endorphins, the chemicals released while exercise, not only keeps you physically active but also helps to block the pain signals to the brain. Simple daily activities like walking, gardening, dancing and swimming aids to lessen pain.

Diet:

Diet plays a crucial role in alleviating inflammation which gradually leads to pain. Ensure to add easy to digest foods to your diet such as yogurt, green leaves, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and soya products to cope with persistent pain. Avoid choosing processed foods in your diet.

Stay hydrated:

If you are in pain, dehydration creates unhealthy complications. Staying well hydrated helps to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain conditions (back pain and headaches). Do not rely on coffee or juices to keep you hydrated as they add extra calories to the body and can lead to weight gain.

Massage Therapy:

Getting soothing massage can be an effective part of chronic pain management. Massage not only alleviates your mood but also relieves tension in muscles which is causing pain.

Stop drinking and smoking:

Tobacco use and alcohol consumption worsen the intensity of pain and disturbs your quality of life.
It is advisable to consult your physician if you are facing excruciating pains for a long time.

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