Chronic pain happens for a lot of reasons, and they could be a telltale sign that something in your body has been wrong for a long time now. Pain is the body’s signal to tell us to stop and pay attention that something is wrong. It’s like that guy at races that waves the checkered flag when cars go by. Pain is our brain’s “flag,” telling us that maybe we should get something checked out.
What is it?
Chronic pain is any kind of bodily pain or discomfort that does not go away after three months or more. This kind of pain can interfere with daily activities and lifestyle, as it can hinder movement and focus.
Five ways to ease chronic pain:
- Befriend ice packs and heating pads. You often see athletes and performers do ice soaks and sauna sessions, but a normal person with chronic pain will be well enough off with temperature packs. If you need a hot compress, you can pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and put it on the affected area, Need it cold? Keep it in your refrigerator.
- Incorporate meditation into your routine. Some pains are brought on by too much stress. Deep breathing exercises are known to help take the focus off. You can also download phone applications that offer guided meditation. Do this at least once a day, and you’ll see how much it helps when the pain flares up.
- Seek a therapist’s help. Physical therapy can help you gain mobility back after the pain becomes debilitating. It’s not only for people coming out of surgery, or from sustaining heavy injury, so if you’re looking to improve movement under pain, a physical therapist is your best bet.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity can help your muscles with endurance. It can also give you a boost of endorphins, a happy chemical that helps block pain. Symptoms of chronic pain can ease up with the help of a healthy fitness habit. Consult a doctor and a fitness specialist and ask for their opinion on a regimen.
- Talk about your pain. Any kind of pain. Chronic pain is a heavy thing to live with, and it can cause someone to be anxious and depressed. You can join support groups to talk to people who also know what it’s like to live in pain constantly. Talking to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist can help, too. Sometimes, chronic pain is psychosomatic, and talking to trained professionals can help you make sense of the inner turmoil you might face.
Seeking long-term treatment for pain is also a good option, but if you don’t have the time or money for it yet, these five tips are known to help you get through it better. If things get too severe for you, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.