Exercise, when done safely, can benefit you physically and mentally. It helps prevent deconditioning of muscles which is often associated with more pain. Studies find that exercise is one of the most beneficial approaches to managing pain.
People with pain often “over do” resulting in pain flare ups. Pacing can allow activities to get accomplished safely, without flare-ups, and in a manner that conserves energy (i.e., with less fatigue).
Nutrition & supplements
Eating a healthy diet has many benefits for everyone; however there may be some specific benefits for pain sufferers. The examination of pain and diet is an emerging literature.
Teaching the body to relax can both diminish muscle tension and decrease stress. To work properly, regular practice is needed so that the body learns a rhythm of relaxation and can relax on your command. Less tension and less stress can lead to decreased pain intensity.
What we think influences how we feel and how much pain we experience. Sometimes negative thoughts become automatic and make us feel worse. Learning to reframe our thinking in realistic terms that challenge negative automatic thinking can help diminish pain intensity.
Emotions are integral to the production of pain. You cannot have pain without emotions. Thus anything we can do to alter the emotional content of one’s brain will influence pain. Better management of stress can influence pain as well as engaging in pleasant activities. The pleasant activities will help diminish pain intensity.
Conflictual social relationships with family, friends, doctors, and employers can make pain worse. Alternatively, these same relationships can be used constructively to make pain better. Communication skills can help make social relationship work in your favor.
Pain and Sleep are closely related such that poor sleep can make pain worse. These are a number of behavioral sleep strategies that can be used to get a more refreshing night’s sleep.
Like acupuncture, which uses needles, acupressure is an ancient treatment that uses the pressure of one’s own finger on the skin so as to help re-balance the flow of energy through the body as a means of reducing symptoms such as pain.
The belief in something “bigger,” “more powerful,” or “more knowledgeable” than oneself has been key to many individuals being able to successfully deal with pain. Spirituality may refer to a specific religious belief or it can be any belief that provides a source of strength and comfort to the individual with pain.
How you sit, stand, transition and lift can either make pain worse or allow you to function even with pain. This section offers help in optimizing how you interact with your environment in ways that don’t exacerbate pain.