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Pain has an important function in life – it lets us know that we’re hurt and, in some cases, may need medical attention. But how do we deal with chronic pain?

When the pain goes on for too long or is part of an incurable condition, it can cause needless suffering and affects our quality of life.

Here are some simple pain relief ideas that may be able to help – no invasive procedure or pills necessary.

Exercise

Plank exercise

  • Pain may keep you from being active
  • Lack of exercise leads to weaker muscles and more pain
  • Exercise releases endorphins, which ease pain and boost your mood
  • 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is all you need
  • Discuss with a doctor about what exercises are best for you
  • Well-rounded exercise programs include strength training and stretching as well

Meditation

  • Deep breathing, biofeedback, and meditation may help
  • Some studies suggest meditation helps seniors with low back pain and osteoarthritis
  • Another study suggested that adults experienced less pain after a biofeedback trial
  • Tai chi with deep diaphragmatic breathing may help ease chronic pain symptoms
  • Tai chi may benefit people with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and low back pain

Avoid alcohol

  • Sleep disruptions may trigger chronic pain
  • They may also increase the risk of developing depression
  • Alcohol before bedtime can hurt your ability to sleep
  • It reduces deep, restorative REM sleep
  • You may also wake up in the middle of the night

Avoid cigarettes

Smoker quitting the cigarette

Tobacco is associated with many negative health effects that may increase pain in the long run:

  • Slows wound healing
  • Increases the risk of degenerative disc disease
  • Causes rheumatoid arthritis
  • Impedes circulation
  • Increases the risk of heart attack and stroke
  • All of these may lead to chronic pain

Eat healthily

To keep the body strong and help boost defenses against pain, eat:

  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Lean protein
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Healthy fats

Other foods that may help with pain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acid foods
  • Salmon
  • Flavonoid foods
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Vitamin E

Take notes

Female hand with a cup of coffee, taking notes. It works records. Business

  • Pain journals can help track your symptoms and plan a course of action
  • Keep track by recording a pain score between 1 and 10 daily
  • Take notes of your daily activities and how you felt while doing them
  • Share these notes with your doctor
  • This will help your doctor get a better idea of your condition and if any adjustments need to be made

Other ideas

  • Make time for relaxation
  • Make use of distractions
  • Take an active role in your treatment
  • Reach out for social support
  • Keep side effects in mind when taking over-the-counter medication
  • Prescription pain relief
  • Try acupuncture
  • Listen to music
  • Try natural remedies like CBD
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