How Pain Management Skills Can Give You a Pain Free Life

“Pain affects every aspect of our lives. It can challenge or change the activities we choose to do, the thoughts we have, & even the sleep we get. This is because, in addition to our physical discomfort, pain can affect our mental & emotional health — increasing our stress & frustration, sapping our motivation & activity levels, & contributing to fatigue. An in turn, our day-to-day life plays a key role in managing pain” [1]

So What Positive Lifestyle Changes Can Help Me Manage My Pain?

In a nutshell, apart from visiting an experienced Pain Specialist, who will put you on a holistic Personalised Treatment Plan incorporating both conventional and cutting-edge treatment, you can also help yourself move towards a pain-free life by reducing stress, adopting a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, doing sufficient exercise, and installing good sleep habits [1].

Reducing Stress

“Pain & stress feed off one another. Pain is a source of stress & when you feel stress, you may react in certain ways such as tensing your muscles & gritting your teeth — both of which increase your pain. But you can prevent this cycle by better managing your stress” [1]

The first line of action, is to recognise the triggers which are generating your stress, and then write a list. These triggers could relate to your work, relationships, family, money worries, too many obligations, and so on [1]. You should then consider what sort of positives steps you could take to reduce some of these negative factors. Further, you could look on YouTube, and listen to specific de-stressing music or binaural beats to counteract stress. Or look for YouTube videos on breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation. Or (subject to any contraindications), how about joining a Tai Chi or yoga meditation class?

Being Physically Active

“Aerobic or “cardio” exercise — which uses our large muscle groups & raises our heart rate, releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as our body’s natural painkillers” [1]

And while there are numerous reasons to exercise, one of the major ones is to get pain relief. Studies suggests that half an hour or so of brisk walking, or other low-intensity aerobic exercise, 5 to 6 days per week, is the best course of action. Once again, this is subject to any contraindications, and you should talk to your Pain Specialist before embarking on any kind of exercise program, including brisk walking [1].

Getting a Sound Sleep

Ensuring that you get a sufficient amount of quality sleep is imperative. – This is because sleep helps to heal and repair our bodies. Moreover, it makes coping with pain a little easier, as having great sleep boosts both our mood and energy levels [1].

[1]. Mayo Clinic (2017). “Lifestyle strategies for pain management.”