I'm excited to welcome a guest blog today from Healthline.com.
Healthline is an on line health and wellness information search engine. They feature practical tips for healthy living, symptom checker and articles on treatments for a wide range of diseases and conditions.
Today Healthline staff writer Valerie Johnston brings us Tips for Managing Chronic Pain without Drugs. Valerie's article highlights some very helpful pointers for those who are working to resolve chronic pain and it definitely compliments the work we do here at Pain Free Posture MN.
Corrective exercise programming (along with other mind/body modalities) is a powerful and profoundly effective way to resolve chronic musculo-skeletal pain without the use of medication, manipulation or surgery.
As you'll read, Johnston notes the benefits of natural endorphins from exercise as an aide in managing pain. We certainly agree and want to point out that while exercise does indeed help manage pain, if you are exercising and feeling pain, it's important to correct the root cause of pain (identifying, correcting and eliminating load-join compensations and dysfunctions) so that you can maximize the benefit of those natural endorphins.
We hope you find these tips for managing chronic pain without drugs to be insightful and helpful in your healing path. I'll let Healthline take it from here.
Tips for Managing Chronic Pain without Drugs
Everyone has experienced pain at one point or another, and many of us know what it’s like to experience severe pain, if even for a short while. Imagine the last time you felt severe pain and what other emotional responses you felt at the time. Most people feel an immediate sense of panic, irritability, and even anger. Now imagine that this pain goes on for many weeks or months at a time. Chronic pain is defined as persistent pain that lasts for several months. Lasting pain can range from mild to severe. In either case, chronic pain almost always changes the quality of a person’s life.
Pain medications can offer temporary relief, but it is common for people living with chronic pain to become dependent, and even addicted, to painkillers. The downside of this is that, over time, pain medications become less effective and often cause side effects. Most people who already live with chronic pain do not want to add to their problems by taking medications that cause further health problems or other unwelcome side effects. As a result, many people seek alternative forms of treatment that include natural remedies.
Natural Endorphins through Exercise
The natural “runner’s high” that exercise enthusiasts talk about is a real thing. Your brain releases chemicals known as endorphins during and after exercise that act as natural mood boosters. At the same time, these endorphins block pain signals.
Exercise also works on other levels to reduce pain. By strengthening your muscles, increasing your mobility, improving your range of motion, increasing your endurance, and improving your cardio health, your body’s resistance to pain will increase naturally.
Reduce the Stress in Your Life
Stress has a way of intensifying pain. Negative emotions can cause the body to tense up, which can aggravate existing pain. While the pain you experience is very real, there is something to the old saying “mind over matter.” By practicing stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery, you can relax both your body and mind. As you learn to live a more relaxed, stress-free life, you will progressively be able manage your pain more effectively. Stress reduction techniques are also very useful for when you are in the midst of experiencing increased pain. Knowing how to access a mental escape will be of great benefit for moving out of your pain and into a more peaceful state of mind.
Seek Group Support
Countless people live with chronic pain without anyone else being the wiser. Pain is a subjective symptom that many sufferers keep to themselves. Isolating yourself with your health disorder may not be the best coping mechanism. A better option for most people is to connect with other chronic pain sufferers. Simply being able to share what you are going through with other people who can relate to your feelings is a great way to cope with your condition. Support groups for people living with chronic pain also provide an excellent educational tool. Learning how others manage their pain may give you insight in how to manage your own.
Poor diet is one of the key culprits in causing inflammation and pain. Individuals who are overweight and/or malnourished are much more prone to chronic pain. Adding a variety of vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, beans, peas, nuts, and other healthy food choices to your diet, while reducing unhealthy foods, can reduce inflammation and pain. Proper nutrition in combination with exercise will result in a stronger body that is better able to combat pain and a number of health problems that can lead to chronic pain.
About the Author: Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon and writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.
Posted on Fri, November 2, 2012
by Valerie Johnston filed under