Many people go through chronic pain. According to Health Canada, an estimated 7.63 million, or one in four Canadians aged 15 or older live with chronic pain. Any short-term pain caused due to an injury heals in a few days. However, chronic pain is persistent and may last for months or even years. Chronic pain can be caused due to many reasons such as illnesses, injuries or any physical or emotional stress.
Chronic pain can reduce your body’s movement, endurance, and strength. It can last for a longer time and interfere with your day-to-day activities. Everyone goes through different types of chronic pain and may need different treatments. Some cases may be severe and may need immediate medical attention. Other times you can take certain measures that will help you manage chronic pain better.
In this article we will discuss some measures you can take that can help you deal with this pain and stop it from getting more serious.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is the pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. The pain can feel sharp or dull and cause a burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. It can be continuous or keep coming and going. It can affect any part of the body and it can be different in each affected area.
Here are some common types of chronic pain:
· Arthritis pain
· Neurogenic pain
· Psychogenic pain
· Lower back pain
· Post-trauma pain
· Postsurgical pain
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can be caused by several factors. The most common causes can be injuries that don’t heal properly or nerve damage. Here are some other factors that can cause chronic pain:
· Improper lifting of heavy objects
· Being overweight
· Poor posture
· Chronic fatigue syndrome due to extreme prolonged weariness
· Endometriosis which occurs when the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus
· Inflammatory bowel disease
· Degenerative changes of the spine
· Traumatic injury
These injuries and illnesses can develop a psychological dimension and cause pain even after the healing. Hence, sometimes the exact cause can be hard to determine, and doctors can recommend various ways to treat chronic pain.
Let’s look at some healthy tips that can help you manage chronic pain.
Tips For Chronic Pain
If you have a job that requires you to sit for long hours, then staying active is especially important. As one of the reasons for chronic pain can be weight gain it is important to do some physical activities. Have a routine that is recommended by your health care provider to reduce stress and maintain a healthy body weight.
Simple exercises or physical activities like walking and cycling can help maintain a healthy body weight. Exercise boosts endorphins which are brain chemicals that help improve your mood. Make some room for these activities in your daily routine.
Maintain a good posture
Again, sitting for long hours can be taxing on your body. It is important to have the right ergonomic setting when you are working. Sitting awkwardly for longer periods can put a strain on various parts of your body and cause pain. Ensure to take short breaks and stretch while you work.
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Practice relaxation techniques
Meditation and various breathing exercises can help you reduce stress. Stress can intensify chronic pain and make it worse. Relaxation and mindfulness can keep your mind healthy and improve mood.
Pay attention to other conditions
Conditions like anxiety and depression can also cause pain. If you are going through this, then contact your health care provider to get the right diagnosis and treatment. Treating these conditions can help you deal with pain.
Physiotherapy can help you reduce chronic pain and make you more flexible. It can reduce the chances of this pain worsening or coming back in the future. Many doctors recommend physical therapy as part of the treatment. Physiotherapy will include exercises, stretching, massage therapies and more to help you manage the pain. Physiotherapists will also recommend proper sitting posture, exercises and lifestyle changes that can help treat chronic pain. Consult your doctor to first find out the underlying cause of your pain before you seek physical therapy.
Sleep is important
Poor sleeping patterns can worsen your pain. Practice a calming nighttime routine that can help you get proper sleep. Sleeping posture can also impact chronic pain. Ensure that you do not use many pillows that elevate your neck too much. Keep your neck and body aligned when you sleep. Use a comfortable mattress that does not put pressure on your lower back.
Reduce alcohol intake
Alcohol can cause sleep problems which can make your pain worse. Cutting back on alcohol can help with chronic pain and improve the overall quality of life.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for health and can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, quit smoking.
A well-balanced diet can give you proper nourishment and improve your overall health. It can help you reduce the risk of heart diseases, improve blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy body weight.
Remember that these tips are not the only ways to help treat chronic pain. If you have chronic pain, then you will need to consult a doctor and get a diagnosis and a proper treatment plan for you. Practice these healthy tips along with the treatment or medications recommended by your doctor. These tips can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage chronic pain.
You can book a physiotherapy appointment with us here.