Let’s face it when you were younger your body was a lot more forgiving. You could eat poorly, drink too much and party all night and then get up and go to work. But somewhere along the way, your body began to rebel.
Chronic Pain is One of The Most Common Complaints of Older Folks
For some people, it may have been an accident that has caused the chronic pain they are experiencing. Autoimmune diseases like Lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other diseases can also be the culprit. And for many, it is just a lifetime of poor lifestyle choices.
Acute Pain and Chronic Pain Are Two Different Experiences
Everyone has experienced pain at some point. Maybe it was a finger that got sliced when chopping vegetables. Or perhaps you broke your arm playing sports. But acute pain goes away after a period of time. Chronic pain is often there day in and day out. The pain will often vary in intensity from mild to excruciating. And we are often willing to do anything to stop the pain.
Opioids Provide a Solution. But at What Cost?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in 2015, 20,101 prescription-related overdose deaths were recorded from the use of opioids. And there are stories on the news daily of the opioid crisis we are facing as a nation. While there may be a time and a place where these drugs are the best option for trying some of these alternatives for your chronic pain may be a good idea.
Tackling chronic pain usually means using several different approaches. And it is important that you give it enough time.
“I had chronic pain for years due to Lyme Disease. I tried just about everything short of pharmaceuticals. I just was afraid of addiction, so I refused to use them. I used all of the techniques listed in this article and more. I cannot say that one thing was what finally relieved my pain. I think it was a combination of these lifestyle changes” Kathryn
There are many different types of massage techniques. And some may work better for your type of pain than others. Look for a therapist who has been doing this for several years. You also want to find one who is intuitive rather than technique-driven. It is important that the therapist understands how to really “listen” to your body and change her technique accordingly.
If you have a spouse or someone living with you consider trading massage. You may not be a professional, but all touch can be healing.
“Jim and I massage each other for about 15 minutes each night while watching TV. I sit in front of his chair so he can work on my neck and shoulder. This is where I have chronic pain. While he works on me I give him a foot massage. We both enjoy this arrangement. And I think we sleep better also.” ~ Sarah
Pain can sometimes cause us to get into a negative loop cycle. The more we focus on the pain the more we seem to have pain. Meditation can help to relax your muscles. This will release some of the tension that has built up in your body. With time you may also be able to get out of that negative pain loop. Try a 15-minute meditation 2 or 3 times a day for the next 30 days. I think you will notice some positive changes. There are a lot of apps you can get on your phone that will give you guided meditations. This is a good way to begin.
Identify Your Pain Triggers
Become aware of what seems to make your chronic pain flare-up. Is it when you go out in the cold? Is it when you are around a certain person or group of people? Maybe when you eat certain foods or consume alcohol. Maybe you are ready for a career change? Both physical and emotional stress can activate the pain you experience. By paying attention to your body and how it is reacting you may be able to make some small changes that have a huge impact on how you feel.
This is just a start on your journey. Other options to help relieve your pain include yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, chiropractic, changing your diet, breathing exercises, exercise, journaling, laughter yoga, heart math, and many others. Try adding in two or 3 of these ideas and stay with it for at least 30 days. Track your progress and see what will work for you.
Chronic pain can make you feel out of control. But planning for your future can help you to feel more in control. Visit Hilbun Law Firm to make sure you have all your documents in place.