Chronic pain affects millions of people around the globe. It’s one of the health issues to which doctors and researchers can’t ever seem to find a solution, and because it can be vague and difficult to pin down, people continue to suffer from chronic pain without a lot of answers or relief. But what is chronic pain? Chronic pain is identified as pain that persists for longer than six months, and can be a lingering result from an injury, surgery, or other kind of trauma. Frequent headaches are one of the most commonly cited types of chronic pain. Nerve damage can also cause chronic pain, but sometimes chronic pain seems to have no cause or source.
Chronic pain treatment
Treating chronic pain can be difficult because it can be hard to identify its source or cause. Many physicians prescribe painkillers or other medications to address chronic pain, but this has many downsides. Patients can become addicted to narcotics, and pain medication can stop working over time, requiring chronic-pain sufferers to take higher and higher doses to achieve pain relief. Some doctors fail to address chronic pain at all, dismissing patients and telling them it is “all in their head.” People who suffer from chronic pain often struggle to find a doctor or treatment provider who will take their concerns seriously.
Though it can be impossible to fully resolve chronic pain in some patients, there are a variety of therapies and treatments that can provide some degree of relief. If you suffer from chronic pain, try some of the following tips to address your issues.
Just breathe. Meditation has been shown to help relax tense muscles and ease stress, which is a major contributor to chronic pain. Try a guided meditation through an app, or join a group meditation online or in person.
Work it out. Exercise releases endorphins that boost mood, and may help reduce chronic pain. Increased blood flow and benefits to overall health are also some ways in which exercise can help address chronic pain.
Cut it out. Smoking, excessive drinking, and other substance-use issues not only have adverse effects on overall health, they may also play a role in chronic pain. Eliminating these can affect chronic pain levels.
Get some Zzzzs. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate issues with chronic pain. Practice good sleep hygiene, including sleeping in a dark room or using a sleep mask, to help get the right amount of sleep each night.
- Stretch and bend. Gentle yoga and stretching can help work tense muscles and add to overall flexibility, as well as provide an important mental boost. Join an online hatha yoga class or practice a few minutes of mindful movement each day to help you wind down and move your body.
Chronic pain doesn’t have to dictate how you speed your days. The above techniques, combined with treatment from a trusted physician, can help ease chronic pain and bring relief to sufferers.
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