3 Pain Management Techniques Straight from the Experts
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 20.4% of United States adults (approximately 50 million) experience chronic pain. In addition, every year chronic pain totals an estimated $560 billion in direct medical costs, lost productivity, and disability problems. If you are suffering from chronic pain, know that there are practices you can follow every day without dipping into your wallet.
Our team of experts at AllCure have put together this easy, everyday guide to following pain management techniques just for you. Keep reading!
CONTROL WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK
It’s true — what you put into your body is what you get out of it. By controlling what you eat and drink, you can control how your body feels. There are certain chemicals in foods that can trigger inflammation, which often causes pain. These chemicals are typically endemic to processed foods, high-fat red meat, foods high in sodium or caffeine, and wheat products. To ease inflammation, try eating leafy greens, turmeric, asparagus, low-sugar fruits, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
One way to combat chronic pain and insomnia, which have been linked to each other, is by limiting your alcohol intake. By cutting down your consumption, or cutting out alcohol altogether, you can significantly improve your sleeping habits and, therefore, your chronic pain. Additionally, drinking water cannot be emphasized enough. Dehydration flares up chronic conditions such as headaches and back pain.
PRACTICE STRETCHING, YOGA, AND RELAXATION
There are certain times during the day, such as when you first get out of bed or stand up after sitting for an extended period of time, when you may experience an especially painful flare up. The best way to counter this stiffness is to take a moment to gently stretch out your arms, legs, and back. Inhaling and exhaling long, deep breaths can not only help stretch your back but also relax the mind.
A more formal practice would be to incorporate yoga and/or meditation into your morning routine anywhere from 60 seconds to 10 minutes. There are hundreds of free online videos and phone applications to try. While anxiety and stress work to tighten up your muscles, yoga increases flexibility and relaxes your entire body. Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils, is another great method for achieving relaxation.
KEEP A PAIN LOG
When trying several different pain management techniques, it can be hard to know what is actually working and what is a waste of time. By keeping a pain log, you can determine where you are seeing the most results. Take note of any medications you are taking, when you are taking them, and how you feel before and after. This also goes for any other practices like monitoring food and alcohol consumption, stretching, or yoga. This way, you will be better informed of what actually works for you.
ENROLL IN CLINICAL SERVICES
If you are having trouble finding a technique that works for you, managing your pain on your own, or are inconsistent with your practices, it’s best to get in touch with a professional. They can create a custom recovery plan that is unique to your pain points and lifestyle. However, without a referral, it can be difficult to choose what clinical service is right for you. Do you need physical or occupational therapy? Maybe a chiropractor could help you the most.
At AllCure Spine & Sports Medicine, we offer FREE consultations for everyone and provide every client with the time and dedication they need. Our integrated approach goes beyond a traditional physical therapy service. Between our team of chiropractors, physical therapists, and acupuncturists, we are confident we can come up with a plan of action that will produce results. Reach out to our offices by sending us an email or calling us at (732) 521-9222 for our Monroe, NJ location or (609) 528-4417 for our Hamilton, NJ location.