Many Americans enjoy making New Year resolutions. The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and think about the future. If you are looking for relief from chronic pain, consider these 7 healthy New Year resolutions for pain management.
1. Stop Smoking
Despite smoking’s short-term “feel good” sensations, smoking damages the body in the long term. Smoking can lead to many severe medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and degeneration diseases. Many of these conditions contribute to chronic pain. Read more about how quitting smoking can help with pain relief and better pain management outcomes: Can Smoking Make Chronic Pain Worse?
2. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep boosts your mood and helps with stress reduction. Sleep is also important for healing. However, with chronic pain, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. If you have chronic back pain, for example, there are a few different sleeping positions that can you can try to take pressure off your spine. Read more about reducing pain at night: How To Minimize Chronic Pain at Bedtime.
3. Cut Out or Limit Processed Foods
Good nutrition is important for overall health, weight loss or maintenance, keeping your heart healthy, and providing fuel for your body. A good, balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains can do wonders for the body. Also, it is important to limit the consumption of processed foods and foods with high amounts of saturated fats.
There are many different diets to consider. Ask your doctor or nutritionist which is best for you. If suffer from a painful chronic inflammatory disease, for example, your doctor may recommend an anti-inflammatory diet. While it might not cure your condition, it may help lessen your flare ups and reduce the pain. Learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet here: What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet and How Can It Help?
4. Lose Weight
Did you know that losing weight can help with your pain management program? Evidence indicates that obesity is significantly associated with pain. In fact, researchers have found that pain is more prevalent as a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) increases. Obesity is also a risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), which can lead to more chronic pain. Learn more about the Benefits of Losing Weight for Pain Management.
5. Keep in Touch with Friends and Family
Having a strong network of support is important for reducing depression. Depression and pain are linked. Pain can cause depression, and depression can cause pain. Some people often find themselves locked in a vicious cycle where pain makes depression worse and depression makes the pain worse.
6. Reduce Stress
While you may know that stress affects you on an emotional and mental level, did you know it can also affect you physically? Stress can even contribute to pain. In fact, stress and pain have similar effects on the body. Both elevate blood pressure and tense muscles. When you remain in a constant state of stress, your muscles remain tensed and your blood pressure stays high. This is harmful to your body. Additionally, people with anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for chronic pain. Read about the 7 Ways to Naturally Eliminate Stress and Bring Pain Relief.
Chronic pain makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Therefore, exercising may seem like an impossible task. However, exercise can help with pain relief. In fact, the more inactive you are, the more likely you’ll suffer from chronic pain. This is because an inactive lifestyle often leads to the deconditioning of your body and physical health. Regular exercise, on the other hand, will help you gain strength and aerobic capability. It will also improve your mood and help you perform daily tasks. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to exercise. Read more: Can Exercise Help With Pain Management?
Apex Medical Center, leaders of pain management in Las Vegas, wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!