Chronic pain can affect even the simplest daily tasks. Take charge of your life and manage your pain better using these at-home techniques.
Learn deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Helping the body relax can ease pain.
Reduce or eliminate stress. Stress intensifies the body’s reaction to pain. Examples might include listening to music, mental imagery relaxation or progressive muscle relaxation.
Exercise. Exercise strengthens muscles and thus helps prevent re-injury. Discuss exercise options that best suit your chronic pain diagnosis.
Cut back on alcohol intake. Alcohol is very disruptive to sleep patterns. A good night’s sleep is very important in minimizing chronic pain, and drinking less or no alcohol positively affects your sleeping habits.
Don’t smoke. In addition to increasing your chances of developing heart disease or cancer, tobacco use can increase pain sensations, slow healing time and worsen circulation disease.
Eat healthy. A healthy diet helps your body heal and allows you to stay strong and maintain an ideal weight.
Keep a pain journal. Document any increases or decreases in your pain on a daily basis, noting activities or other relevant information (stress, illness, etc.). What helped? What made the pain worse? The information will help you and your doctor during regular checkups to evaluate your pain management.
Join a support group. Talking to others who share similar experiences can help you cope better. You feel less alone and gain specific tips and resources from people also diagnosed with chronic pain.