Tips For Managing Pain

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Tips For Managing Pain

Pain can make your life miserable.  But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  To preserve your quality of life, start by getting a clear understanding of your pain and then take steps to manage it.  We’ve gathered five tips to help you get started managing your pain.

It’s important to recognize as early as possible the cause of your pain so that proper treatment can begin.  Although many people try to treat pain on their own, the problem with self-diagnosis is that if you misdiagnose the problem, you could delay getting the proper care that you need – or even make things worse!

Therefore, early recognition and proper diagnosis of the problem that is causing the pain is the first and most important step to managing your pain.  Please see your doctor for this important first step.

Once you know what you are dealing with, then you can work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan.

In addition to following your treatment plan, here are five things you can do to manage your pain:

 

Take a look at your lifestyle to determine what factors may be contributing to your pain.  Some things you are doing may exacerbate your pain (make it feel worse or more intense), some things may be prolonging your pain, and some things may be triggering your pain.  Be prepared to make adjustments in your lifestyle as needed.  It’s a trade-off where you decide which is more important to you:

– Reducing or eliminating your pain
– Doing the pain-causing activity

You are the one who makes this decision when you decide to participate in a pain-causing activity or to forgo that activity in favor of something else.

Eat a healthy diet is part of your plan for managing your pain.Eat a well-balanced diet with fruits, vegetables and the vitamins and nutrients that you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  You’ve probably heard that saying “you are what you eat”.  Filling your diet with sugar, salt, starches and fat leads to weight gain which puts added stress on your body, which in turn can impact your pain.  That’s why one of the first things your doctor will recommend is losing weight.

Exercise daily.  Consult with your doctor on things you can do to start small and build up.  Exercise helps with weight control, it keeps your joints mobile, and it strengthens your muscles.   Walking is a good exercise that is easily incorporated in your day.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  If mobility is a problem, talk with your doctor about exercises you can do while seated in a chair.

Stop smoking.  We know it’s easier said than done, that’s why we recommend never starting the practice.  If you smoke, talk with your doctor about the options available to you to help you stop smoking.  Smoking causes many problems, including decreasing blood flow to vital structures.

A genuine smile is a great way to help reduce stress because it helps to lighten your mood.Reduce Stress.  Stress increases your perception of pain.  It’s important to do whatever you can to reduce or eliminate the stress in your life.  Know what things make you feel stressed and learn to manage or avoid situations that cause you stress.  Instead, look for things to smile about.  Smiles lighten your mood and can help you turn your attention to more pleasant things.