According to the CDC, around 20% of adults in the US suffer from chronic pain. The causes of chronic pain are varied. Some people develop their pain as a result of an injury, while for others, it is the symptom of an illness.
If you are dealing with chronic pain, you’ll know that it can impact every aspect of your life. Pain makes it difficult to do the things that you would normally do, and it can affect your mental and physical well-being.
If you are dealing with chronic pain, there are a few things that you can do to try and help.
Take Control of Stress
It can feel irritating when someone learns about your chronic pain and responds by telling you to meditate or do some yoga! However, evidence suggests that finding a way to manage the stress in your life could improve chronic pain.
It’s thought that stress can cause inflammation in the body, which impacts the body’s pain responses. Not only this, but if you are stressed it’s likely that your muscles will be tense. Tense muscles can often hurt and exacerbate any other pain you may be experiencing.
Yoga and meditation do work well as stress relief for some people. However, any kind of light exercise can be helpful for managing stress, as can taking steps to look after yourself, such as getting a good night’s sleep and eating a balanced diet.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at your life and see if there are any stressors that you can do something about. For example, some people find their careers stressful and can lower their stress levels by making a change there. Other people can relieve stress by asking for help from friends and family members more often.
Speak with Pain Management specialists
It is worth speaking with a medical professional with a specialism in pain management if you are struggling with chronic pain. As the causes of chronic pain are so varied, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and a medical professional can help you to pinpoint what the best course of action in your situation is likely to be.
YouthfulMD offers a fully online service, where a medical professional will assess your pain and prescribe you a treatment plan that is tailored to suit your needs. They can offer FDA-approved medication-based treatments and more holistic options such as counseling and support for managing chronic pain.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Many people find hot and cold therapy highly effective for managing chronic pain.
Heat can be used to dilate blood vessels and help your muscles to relax. If the cause of your pain is tight muscles, then this can be an effective option. Heat is often quite soothing, too, so you may feel comforted by using something warm on areas of pain.
Cold therapy is particularly effective if the cause of your pain is inflammation. This is because it reduces the blood flow, which in turn can help to bring down inflammation.