When you’re getting treatment for chronic pain, you want to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to make the most of your treatment. Living with chronic pain can feel like a heavy burden. Pain management specialists are there to help you manage pain and improve your quality of life. While the pain management doctors are doing their job, what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of your pain management treatment?
Incorporate Healthy Living Practices
Living with pain can be stressful in itself; however, it’s important to incorporate healthy living practices into your daily life and reduce stress. Consider things such as meditation and talking with a friend to help manage your stress. Stress puts your body in a state of emergency, which is something that can aggravate your existing chronic pain.
Guided imagery can also help your chronic pain. Research from the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing Vol 18 #5 shows that guided imagery provides pain relief. “See your health care provider to learn more about Guided Imagery, which is the process of imagining scenes, pictures, or experiences in order to help manage chronic pain. Refer to websites and organizations such as American Chronic Pain Association for additional techniques. These therapies can contribute greatly to successful chronic pain management.” (Source: Kimberly Gross, PA from Center for Spine, Joint, and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation in Nashville, Tennessee).
Limit smoking and alcohol consumption as well. These practices introduce toxins into the body, which means your body has to work harder to eliminate them. This can be taxing for someone who lives with chronic pain, as chronic pain is bad enough as it is without the voluntary exposure to harmful toxins.
It’s also important to eat healthy. Processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats and sugars can trigger further inflammation. Try to eat an alkaline, anti-inflammatory diet that includes lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, and healthy fats such as fish and nuts. When you give your body what it needs to be healthy, it can help make living with chronic pain a little easier.
Find the Treatment That Works for You
Everyone experiences pain differently, therefore not everyone will need the same treatment for their chronic pain. You need to work with your pain management specialists to find the treatment that works for you. Some people may benefit from combination therapies, which could include injections, physical therapy, and medication. Others may find that they only need physical therapy to manage their chronic pain.
Regardless of where or how you experience chronic pain, it’s important to remember that there is help out there for you. Your pain management specialist can help you to determine where your pain is coming from and what to do about it. Discuss treatment options with your doctor. Remember that not everyone will require the same therapy, and pain management doctors are there to help determine which treatment will help your chronic pain the most.
Discuss Exercise Options with Your Doctor
While some people think exercise will worsen chronic pain, this isn’t always true. In fact, exercise can help chronic pain in some people. This is because regular exercise helps to improve your flexibility and your muscle strength. Your muscles play a crucial role in helping to support your joints, which is oftentimes where chronic pain happens.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which are natural hormones that cause a painkiller effect in the body. This means that exercise can help you to feel great without the use of pain medication while also strengthening your body and helping you to feel better. Discuss exercise options with your doctor to see what exercise routine would work best for you. Many people find gentle exercises such as yoga and swimming to be beneficial.
Be Patient and Honest
Achieving results from pain management treatment can take time. Your body will need time to adjust to the changes that pain management treatment is offering. Be patient with your treatment. Part of getting the most out of your pain management treatment is being honest too. While some people don’t want to disclose exactly how much pain they’re in, it’s important to disclose as much information about your pain as possible to your doctor. Your pain management team can’t help you unless you’re totally honest with them about your level of pain, where you experience pain, and what happened to cause the pain, if there is a cause.
Pain management can offer relief from chronic pain to help you feel better. It’s important to make the most of your pain management by following these steps. By being honest, having a healthy lifestyle, and finding the right treatment for you, you can feel better with the help of your pain management team. Make the most of your pain management treatment!
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