Guest blog by Jackie Waters
Photo Credits Pexels
How to Naturally Heal Your Body After a Chronic Pain Diagnosis
The latest research shows more than 1 in 10 Americans are living with chronic pain. Women and the elderly are most at risk. Chronic pain has even been linked to the current opioid epidemic. Sadly, as people struggle to manage their pain, they sometimes become addicted to painkillers, prescription pills, and even illegal drugs.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with chronic pain, whether due to a condition like fibromyalgia or migraines or as a result of a surgery or injury, you might be devastated at the news. Although you’ll need to make some lifestyle changes in order to better manage your condition, rest assured there are things you can do to get some relief.
Luckily, we live in a world where it is possible to naturally manage your chronic pain without medication (or risk of addiction). Here is some advice for how to take your health into your own hands from the comfort of your own home:
Eliminate Pain Triggers
When it comes to pain prevention, it can be helpful to start noticing what is triggering your pain. That way, you can start to eliminate your pain triggers from your home. For instance, migraine headaches have been linked to eating (or drinking) certain foods and beverages. As part of your migraine prevention strategy, you might consider eliminating those foods and beverages from your diet.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed, you might not be aware of your pain triggers. To help determine what’s causing your pain, you could create a daily pain diary or record your symptoms on a calendar for a month or two. Be sure to include any activities, foods, drinks, sleeping positions, and any other important details from your day that may contribute to your pain. Over time, you can look for patterns that will offer clues about your pain triggers.
Lifestyle Adjustments to Reduce Pain
Sometimes, chronic pain clears up on its own. Other times, it is necessary to make adjustments to your daily routine in order to provide better self-care and pain management. There are many lifestyle strategies that can help minimize your chronic pain.
Recent evidence indicates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can reduce emotional and psychological responses that are associated with pain. You might also consider spending time in a far infrared sauna, which has recently been shown to reduce inflammation and pain symptoms among fibromyalgia patients.
Diet and Exercise
Inflammation within the body has been linked to chronic pain by researchers. Therefore, diet and exercise can be important for managing your symptoms because these lifestyle habits can reduce inflammation in the body.
For instance, you might switch to a gluten-free diet to reduce symptoms and possibly even experience remission. Meanwhile, exercise regimens like yoga, swimming, water aerobics, and Tai Chi are gentle on the body while also helping lower inflammation.
Drug-Free Pain Management
Especially when you have chronic pain, it’s important to remainever-mindful of the addictive dangers of prescription painkillers and opioids. For this reason, you might consider holistic healing modalities and other all natural methods of managing your pain. Rather than putting yourself at risk of addiction by taking pills, you could get a massage or reiki session.
Hot and cold therapies have also proven helpful for many people living with chronic pain. If you have carpal tunnel or wrist arthritis, for instance, you might alternate between a few minutes of a heating pad followed by a few minutes of an ice pack. For larger parts of the body, such as lower back pain, you might consider a hot shower followed by an ice bath.
Additionally, you might consider myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, reflexology, acupressure, or acupuncture. These are all safe and gentle healing methods involving very light pressure, which may help reduce your level of pain over time.
Although chronic pain can be debilitating at times, it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Proper pain management helps you get back to enjoying your life so you can happily live - and even thrive - again.