Chronic pain, whether due to arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, or another type of condition, can feel relentless and overwhelming. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the pain that it feels like it will never feel any better than it does now. However, that is not necessarily the case, especially when you have a great medical team behind you. Some tips, such as the ones below, could make a positive difference.
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Change your diet
Food is one of the best joys in life, but – depending on what you are eating – it could have good and bad effects on the body. We all know about the general recommendations for fruits and vegetables while avoiding sugary options. However, a blanket approach to nutrition is not typically the ideal approach.
Speaking with a registered dietician can be immensely helpful. The two of you can devise a plan that works best for you, your preferences, and your health condition, and it can be beneficial for establishing healthier eating habits.
Before your appointment, start a food journal. Take note of what you eat, when, and how your body feels afterward. Bring the journal to your first appointment with the dietician so they can look it over.
Get a new bed and seating
Do not underestimate the power of quality seating and an excellent bed. Mattresses have different features, so choosing one that can help improve your sleep and how you feel in the morning is essential.
Regarding seating, what you use at home (and work) matters. For example, using an ergonomic chair at work can make a positive difference over using a hard plastic chair, especially if you sit in it for several hours. Comfort matters when it comes to combating chronic pain.
Ask for assistance with tasks
It is not always easy to ask for help. Chronic pain can sometimes feel like so much is out of your control that you want to do as much as possible by yourself. However, there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance.
For example, consider getting them delivered instead of carrying heavy groceries, or at least going to the store with a friend who can help you manage them. Rather than shoveling snow yourself, see if your town has a program where volunteers help when health conditions get in the way of homeowners doing yard tasks independently.
Unnecessarily pushing yourself could increase pain for days. It is not worth causing additional pain when you only need to ask for help, even if it is challenging. With help, you can complete the task without causing discomfort or pain.
Stick to your doctor’s plan
A great pain management doctor in Tulsa, OK, wants the best for you. Following your doctor’s plan may be the last thing you want to do, especially if it involves changes you are not fond of, like eating more fruit or doing physical therapy. However, sticking to the plan is typically the best course of action.
It is essential to be honest with your doctor to establish a plan corresponding to your condition, the pain you are experiencing, your preferences, and your lifestyle. Speak up if you have any questions or concerns so your doctor can adjust if it is in your best interest.
It is worth mentioning again how vital it is, to be honest with the medical professionals who are part of your team. Pain is a very subjective experience from one patient to the next. The only way they have an idea of how you are feeling is if you tell them. Only then can they determine what is working for you and what is not and what changes could positively impact you.
Change your bad habits
According to Oklahoma Interventional Spine & Pain, being diagnosed with a particular condition can often feel like a series of “change this” and “don’t do that.” However, changing bad habits is likely not going to be a bad thing for your overall health. Everyone knows that smoking and excessively drinking alcohol are unhealthy habits, but other habits could also harm your body and chronic pain.
For instance, falling asleep in uncomfortable positions, such as watching TV on the couch or sitting in bed, could worsen your pain. Talk with your doctor about what you feel are your bad habits that could be contributing to your chronic pain feeling worse. If you need help changing them, your doctor can offer insight.
Let’s not sugarcoat it. Chronic pain is miserable. However, teaming up with medical professionals and establishing a plan that works for you to ease that pain could be the best thing you can do for yourself and your physical and emotional health. The sooner you work to establish your personalized plan, the faster you may notice your pain level start to decrease.