There are few things more difficult in this world than living with chronic pain. Sadly, millions of people must face this challenge every year. In cases when modern medicine cannot completely resolve the underlying problem, the patient must learn to deal with their situation as best as they can. Here are six of the best ways to handle living with chronic pain.
1. Get enough sleep. Though getting good sleep can be extremely difficult for those in pain, sleeping well is critical. Besides being crucial for psychological health, sleep is when the body is best able to heal itself. This means that the mental and physical exhaustion that plagues victims of chronic pain can often be partly relieved by a good night’s sleep. The likelihood of quality sleep can be improved by following a regular sleep schedule and limiting consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and rich foods.
2. Eat well. Healthy bodies are better able to fight against pain and its causes — and one of the biggest keys to bodily health is consuming a nutritious, balanced diet. While chronic pain may make unhealthy ‘comfort foods’ more tempting, choosing a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a much better idea. Also, many conditions that cause chronic pain are exacerbated or even caused by a poor diet. For example, inflammation is encouraged by some unhealthy foods (such as processed meat and fried foods).
3. Minimize stress. While anxiety, worry, and stress might be psychological phenomena, that doesn’t mean they only harm the mind. In most cases the symptoms of chronic pain are aggravated by excess stress. While each person’s life is different, there are tactics for reducing stress that are often effective — including consuming less caffeine and alcohol, exercising more, not pushing too hard at work, and taking more time for relaxing and enjoyable activities.
4. Use distraction. Concentrating on pain only makes it worse. Focusing the mind on an engaging task or an enjoyable pursuit is one of the best ways to cope. Some go-getters find that working hard at their job helps. Other people discover that spending time with friends or family is the best approach. Any fun, engaging hobby can also be a big help. In general, remaining active and tuned into life is a good idea.
5. CBD (Cannabidiol) from hemp. You may have heard of CBD oil from hemp as it is used as a natural pain reliever, and thousands of people are reporting great results. CBD from hemp contains no THC, so you don’t get “high” is legal in all 50 states, and could be the answer to pain, both common and chronic. Learn more about CBD miracle oil in an article we published here.
While much of alternative medicine is pure hokum, some treatments have been shown to be effective in relieving pain. These include massage, acupuncture, meditation, and systems of organized stretching like yoga or tai chi. Of course, the usefulness of a particular alternative treatment depends on what kind of pain is being addressed. For example, massage therapy is likelier to help with muscle-related pain.
6. Keep track of what helps. Every person is different, and every person’s pain is different too. What works for one person may be useless for another (even if they are suffering from the same ailment). Keeping a ‘pain diary’ (a detailed record of notes on when pains occurs, and how severe it is) will help determine which relief methods are effective. Looking back over the diary may reveal informative patterns of cause and effect.
While living with chronic pain will always be a difficult, trying experience, sufferers are not completely without recourse. As can be seen in the list above, there are a number of good ways to relieve the pain — or at the very least make it easier to deal with.