Consult with your doctor to determine what types of exercises are suitable for you. In cases like arthritis, low-impact activities such as swimming and specifically designed cardio workouts are often advised. Working with a physical therapist can help you target key muscle groups. This will help not only fight pain but also increase your fitness and improve your mental health.
For example, research trials have shown that people suffering from lower back pain can see relief with targeted workout programs. These programs should last 45-60 minutes, 2-3 times per week. Participants were able to reduce pain within 6 weeks. Many reported low to no pain after 1 year.
3) Find relief naturally
Heating pads and ice packs are tried and true tactics, but many people are looking for natural options that are more outside the box. There are many great reasons for this. While generally considered safe, even the above-mentioned drugs can have side effects. Stronger prescription medications like opioids are often not only addictive but also have their own wide array of side effects. This is where you can find some help in natural pain relief.
One of the oldest herbal remedies dating from ancient Egypt is bark from white willow trees. In randomized controlled trials, white willow bark or Salicin— the pain fighting compound it contains— has been proven to be as effective as the most common NSAIDs.
In addition, green tea contains strong anti-inflammatory compounds that have been used in the treatment of arthritic conditions. It also has additional cognitive, cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits. Doctors generally recommend 3-4 cups per day.
4) Make changes in your diet
Likewise, there are many changes you can make in your diet to manage chronic pain. Dietary changes are particularly important for those suffering from blood sugar dysfunctions such as diabetes. Nonetheless, many of the same foods that regulate blood sugar also to have strong pain relieving qualities. Of course, it is essential to minimize the intake of fatty, sugary foods, especially soft drinks.
In addition to this, one of the best simple ways to ease chronic pain is to look to superfoods. These include foods such as avocados, açaí and goji berries.
Don’t worry: you don’t have to break your wallet and buy every superfood on the planet. Follow 2 simple rules:
- avoid highly processed foods, meat and dairy
- look for affordable, nutritionally dense frozen and in-season fruits and vegetables
Consider foods high in carotenoids like carrots, mangos, plums and sweet potatoes that have strong anti-oxidative and analgesic properties and can help fight pain.
5) Create a healthy mix of physical activities
Physical therapy is one part of pain management, but so too is creating the right lifestyle. Aside from daily exercise, look to different ways of treating chronic pain such as yoga, pilates, massage therapy and going to a chiropractor. Such activities can allow you to focus on deep breathing and to alleviate muscle tension, both of which can help to ease painful conditions.
For example, over 90% of patients suffering from chronic lower back pain reported satisfaction from chiropractic treatment. They also reported using fewer drugs and avoiding surgery along with general improvements in quality of life after treatment.