It can feel like we’re all alone when we suffer from chronic pain. Even managing things other see as basic can feel like a challenge. That’s why it’s important to do everything in our own power to keep our lives active and fulfilling, even when all we want is to stay in bed.
Practice Good Nutrition
Eating the right sort of foods may help with pain management. Before delving into what changes might be made, cut back on alcohol and avoid smoking. Look to foods that might help with reducing inflammation as this can contribute to the onset of pain. Focus on a diet rich in omega 3s, like fish such as salmon and tuna. You will also want to have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens. Avoid processed foods, as well as any drinks filled with sugar. Adjusting to a new diet can be difficultat first, but what you eat can be influential.
Physical activity might be furthest from your mind, yet it may also help in alleviating chronic pain. You don’t have to strain yourself, either. Before trying any form of exercise, speak to your healthcare provider to establish what is most suitable for you. Working out can be most beneficial when it is calibrated for your specific needs.
One excellent form of exercise is walking. It’s something that you can do around the house or your neighborhood. You can stop whenever you like and then pick back up where you left off when you’re ready. There are other forgiving exercises that you might adopt, such as yoga or water aerobics. These can be highly accessible workouts that get you moving and produce mood-enhancing chemicals.
It can be difficult to explain chronic pain to loved ones, but it’s important that you educate them. Inform them about what you are facing and tell them about your challenges and emotional strain. Open up to them and don’t feel guilty about asking for help whenever you need it. Beyond your immediate circle, look to support groups.
Chronic pain can be isolating and it can be hard for others to relate to the experiences associated with it. Dedicated support groups can offer a space to speak and be listened to by those in a similar situation. This can be palpably affirming, a precious reminder that you are not alone in your experiences. You may even gain some valuable tips and advice that you can apply to your own life.
Hobbies are another great way to challenge any isolation. This might be anything, from joining a knitting club to attending art classes. However, pace yourself when it comes to hobbies. Do what you feel you can do, and you may be surprised by the connections you can make.
Chronic pain can make a lot of tasks in the home more challenging simply because most homes are not designed with this in mind. Modifying our homes can turn a house into a true refuge, but adaptations may require professional assistance. Certain modifications simply need the expertise of a contractor, but even relatively minor DIY tasks can just be exhausting. Ask yourself how DIY might impact your physical and emotional well-being. If you feel that you can do it, consider doing so as it could be a form of physical activity.
Otherwise, look to professionals. Some companies may specialize in home accessibility projects while others may not. This should be one aspect of your research, as their understanding of your needs is imperative. Most important, however, is confirming their reputation. Do they have liability insurance? Are they well-reviewed and fully licensed? Check with your local Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been made against a company. Above all, do not part with money, or even make a deposit, before work has started.
Living with chronic pain can be full of frustration. Be forgiving when it comes to your limits and consider adapting your home to meet your needs. Try to stay active, explore hobbies, but do not push yourself. Give yourself the right tools and patience for this journey.
-Author: Kimberly Hayes: Chief Blogger at Public Health Alert