Chronic pain is an extremely common condition that affects over 3 million Americans a year. Patients with this condition can have a hard time doing their daily tasks and in some cases they are not able to do the same things as before the onset of the condition. Here are some tips to help ease some of that pain and make daily life easier.
Exercise is the most important thing for chronic pain management. Getting physical activity into your day will result in pain relief. Aerobic exercise releases feel good endorphins that act as a natural painkiller. Research has shown that people who exercise frequently have a much higher pain threshold than people that don’t exercise. The recommended amount of aerobic activity is 30 to 45 minutes five to six days a week. Even if you can’t fit this amount into your week even some exercise will help.
If you’re inactive or have never had a fitness routine before it can be a good idea to check with a doctor before getting started on a program. If you’re in a lot of pain and will have a hard time getting started with exercise it’s a good idea to see a physical therapist. A physical therapist can give you an exercise program for your current fitness ability level and give you exercise that target the areas you’re feeling pain. A great low impact exercise to try is walking.
Meditation and Deep Breathing
Meditation and deep breathing are both great techniques to help with pain. These techniques don’t eliminate pain, but change how the person perceives the pain. People that use this technique report that they feel more relaxed and the pain they are experiencing seems less painful and it bothers them less.
Five or six deep breaths a minute for about 5 minutes is a great way to start. If you would like to learn more about meditation try taking a class or go to the library to find books or instructional DVDs.