5 Things You Are Doing Right Now That Are Making Your Chronic Pain Worse
Chronic pain is no joke. People that suffer from it (in America alone there are tens of millions) know the helpless feeling of being in pain and not knowing how to make it go away. While many that live with chronic pain can only hope to manage it, there are certain things that you are doing in your life that are making it worse. Here are some behaviors that are making your chronic pain worse.
You’re not thinking about your mental health
We all know that your brain is what interprets pain signals from all over your body. If we know that, then why are we sometimes unable to see the connection between mental problems and chronic pain?
“About 54% of people with chronic back pain suffer from depression. But only one-third of them take antidepressants, according to a recent study. New brain-imaging research, however, clearly shows that our mental state is intricately tied to how we process and experience pain,” says Prevention Magazine.
By first dealing with your depression, you may be able to deal with one of the main root causes of your chronic pain.
One of the best lifestyle choices you will ever make is to stop smoking. That’s true in nearly every single medical context, including chronic pain. The effects of smoking on the body’s systems are devastating. Not only does it prevent your muscles from receiving enough oxygen, but it also makes it harder for your body to heal. Both of these things contribute to chronic pain. Start here if you want to make a serious attempt to quit.
You’re eating poorly
Like many machines, your body is only as good as the fuel you put inside it. Chronic pain has been linked to inflammation in the body. Fried foods, sugar, refined carbs, processed meat, and other forms of junk food are known to cause inflammation. Avoid these. Vegetables (especially the leafy green ones), fruits, fish, and nuts are known to reduce it. Eat more of these. It may not an easy solution, but it sure is simple. Eat better and chances are you’ll feel better too.
You’re sitting on the couch
If you have chronic pain, it’s understandable that you are a little wary of exercise. Exercise stresses your muscles, joints, bones, and respiratory system. Even when done right, physical activity can hurt. If you have chronic pain, the only thing you can think about sometimes is reducing pain and with that in mind, exercise seems like an odd choice.
But exercise can actually help reduce your chronic pain. The stronger your body is, the less energy it will take to perform your daily activities. Find fun ways to get some exercise. These methods don’t need to be intense; they simply need to get you up and moving. Swimming is a great option. So is playing with our pets–they also give us a mental health boost. If you don’t have a pet, spend time with someone else’s as a dog sitter or volunteer with a local rescue. You might also start a daily yoga practice and combine it with meditation to get a great all-around wellness boost.
You’re focusing on the pain
People who are successful in managing their chronic pain are able to fill their lives with distractions from the pain. Yoga, meditation, exercise, hobbies, crafts, prayer – whatever it is you use as a distraction (if it’s a healthy behavior) is better than sitting around focusing on your pain.
Before you seek medication or rack up bills with expense alternative therapies (both of which may be necessary for the time), you should look at the habits in your life that exacerbate your chronic pain and decide to make some changes.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
About the author:
Jackie Waters is a mother of four boys and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.1