5 Daily Habits to Decrease Chronic Pain

An estimated 100 million Americans struggle with chronic pain.  That’s almost 1/3 of the population.  This public health emergency calls for a concurrent process of education about the nature of chronic pain and how to manage it effectively.  At Advanced Spine Center, we’re spine care experts, so we’re doing our part by offering this post.

Chronic pain that persists for weeks, months, or years may be the outfall of an old injury or the degeneration of the body as we age.  Whatever the cause, there are 5 daily habits to decrease chronic pain that everyone should be aware of.  These simple life supports will help you manage pain effectively.

1. Keep moving!

There are days when the thought of moving may seem overwhelming.  Chronic pain can lead to depression and a sense of powerlessness.  Exercise is one habit you can foster to elevate your mood, improve the strength of muscles and ligaments and increase bone density.

An added benefit is one you may not be aware of.  The release of endorphins promotes a sense of wellbeing and can help decrease pain.  Choose an activity you’ll look forward to doing and set aside time for it.

2. Nutrition is key.

Nutrition plays a vital part in your overall health and wellbeing.  Planning good meals takes you out of yourself and puts food in its proper place.  When you eat well, you’re giving yourself a gift that will keep your body healthy and strong and help to safeguard it against disease.

Focus on fresh vegetables, fruit, and healthy proteins, like lean meats and legumes.

3. Take time to reflect.

Set aside quiet time for yourself every day.  Chronic pain sufferers have seen tremendous benefit from a daily meditative practice.  This needn’t take any structure.  Meditating on the goodness in life and being aware of what you’re grateful for may be what you need, personally.

Journaling is another useful practice.  Track your bad days, as well as the good ones and rejoice in the days you feel well.  Make a point of noting the 5 daily habits to decrease chronic pain and how they’re improving the way you feel.

4. Still smoking cigarettes?

We don’t mean to nag, but the jury’s in on cigarette smoking.  For chronic pain sufferers, this is a habit that needs to be retired, as soon as possible.  Smoking inhibits healing and can even increase your perception of pain.

Being kind to yourself means adding healthy habits, but it also means bidding toxic habits farewell.  Smoking is one of the latter.

5. Get social.

When you’re not feeling well, it can be difficult to maintain a social life.  But we’re social animals and we need other people in our lives to feel connected and supported.  Don’t isolate yourself, even if you’re in pain.  Call on the company and support of people you love and trust.  Chronic pain can be alienating, but it doesn’t have to be.  Get out there and live.

Give yourself the gift of these 5 daily habits to decrease chronic pain.  Contact Advanced Spine, for further support and information.