Millions of people experience chronic pain, and the severity of that pain ranges from inconvenient to debilitating. However severe the pain, one thing is universal among all pain sufferers: in some way, pain negatively affects people’s everyday lives. Only you can know the severity of your pain and whether or not certain lifestyle changes and treatments are effective, but there are some adjustments that can be made that will likely be beneficial to anyone suffering from chronic pain. No Ordinary Liz explains how.
Eat to Reduce Inflammation
Not all chronic pain can be linked to inflammation inside your body, but a lot of it can. You can take anti-inflammatory medications, and you should if prescribed by a doctor. But you should also make dietary changes to reduce inflammation.
First, you need to cut out known causes of inflammation. These sources include fried foods, refined carbs, sugar, red meats, and processed meats. Saying goodbye to french fries, soft drinks, bagels, and steak can help you reduce your pain after your body begins to readjust.
Of course, it’s not just about what you can’t eat; there are also foods that you should eat in your fight against inflammation. Stock up on tomatoes, nuts and fatty fish such as salmon. Eat plenty of berries. Cook your food in olive oil instead of butter or margarine.
Do what you can to lose weight if you are overweight or obese, as “fatty tissue produces chemicals that cause inflammation, and carrying around extra weight can tax your body, increasing pain and discomfort.”
Get Help with Housework
If you suffer from chronic pain, even simple tasks like sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping can cause stress on your muscles and joints, leading to severe discomfort. Give yourself a break and hire some help.
If you can afford it, hire a cleaning service. Even if you can only pay for part-time assistance, you would benefit from the extra hands. Depending on the age of your children, look into either a part-time nanny or daycare services. Consider also hiring a lawn care company to maintain your yard. The cost of lawn care maintenance usually includes mowing, edging, and removing debris. Look for reputable house cleaning and lawn care companies by researching customer reviews and checking ratings.
Of course, some activities like gardening can actually help those with chronic pain, so you might want to do some of your housework yourself. But the moment it becomes clear that your home-making responsibilities are causing you pain, don’t be afraid to seek out help.
Reconfigure Your Bedroom
Unfortunately, sleep issues and chronic pain go together like peanut butter & jelly. If you have one, you usually have the other. Chronic pain can exacerbate sleeping troubles, and not getting enough rest can exacerbate chronic pain. To help get yourself out of this vicious cycle, make some alterations to your sleeping situation.
Turn your bedroom into a no-technology zone. Don’t bring your phone, computer, or even a TV into your bedroom. Don’t check work emails, don’t watch Netflix; in fact, don’t do anything in your bedroom except sleep and have sex. You must train your brain to think “sleep” when you get in bed, or else it will focus on countless tasks.
For some, total quiet is the way to go; for others, that complete quiet makes them focus on the pain. Find what works best for you. If you need some background noise, try a white noise machine, or play quiet, calming music.
While you may want to throw yourself into a host of changes to help fight your chronic pain, it’s important to take it a step at a time. Especially when it comes to new habits. Lifestyle changes are more likely to stick when they’re gradually implemented. So start small, maybe by getting help with housework. Once you have this figured out, turn to addressing your meals. By slowly adapting to these changes, you’re in a better position to really feel the benefits, making it easier to tweak what works and what doesn’t.
Everyone’s chronic pain is different, and much of dealing with it is trial and error. You try something, and it works or it doesn’t, and what works for one person completely fails for the next. However, by tweaking some basic elements in your home life, you can put yourself in a better situation to manage your chronic pain.
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About the Author:
Emma Grace Brown lives her life by her rules; and it works! When she’s not snuggling puppies, Emma promotes female empowerment through her website. Her mission is to help those who live with self-doubt to realize they don’t have to mold themselves to conventionality.