For more than 50 million Americans, experiencing pain doesn’t happen just once in a while. It happens daily, meaning it’s chronic. Pain can be caused by wide variety of conditions and diseases, and the levels can also vary based on each person’s individual health. Some common causes include pain related to cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other ongoing health issues.
Unfortunately, chronic pain too often goes undiagnosed. Most patients experience relatively mild symptoms, and they’re tolerable. They often grin and bear it, until the pain is so great that they find themselves incapacitated.
That’s why it’s essential to not only be aware of pain in your body, but also to be aware of treatment options and strategies for managing it. Prescriptions and over the counter medicines are common treatments, but there are options for those of us who prefer to take a more natural route. Luckily, September is Pain Awareness Month, and now the perfect time to discuss non-medicinal approaches to managing chronic pain.
As we mentioned, chronic pain often goes undiagnosed, so the first thing you need to do if you’re experiencing chronic pain is to see your medical professional. Your doctor can diagnose and recommend a course of treatment, but can also help you address the source of the pain. Even if you think the pain isn’t that bad, it’s important to tell your doctor. You never know when that little pang could be the sign of something more serious.
Try an Anti-Inflammation Diet
Inflammation, another symptom of a variety of health conditions, often causes chronic pain. While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are widely and easily available, using them regularly can cause other health issues to arise.
As such, it’s a good idea to explore an anti-inflammation diet options as a method of mitigating and reducing chronic pain. That means decreasing the amount of fatty foods, animal products, and sugar you eat. Meeting with a nutritionist before making dramatic changes to your diet is always a good idea.
Commit to Doing Daily Stretching
Chronic pain patients frequently experience achy muscles, from either their medical issues or a lack of mobility that is the result of a chronic pain condition (or sometimes both). Whatever the cause is, doing daily stretches can help retain flexibility and build strength. Here are a few stretches you should try to do every morning or you could also try these before bed every night.