Unfortunately millions live everyday with chronic pain
. Chances are your work with a physical therapist is reducing its effects but there may be certain things that you are doing that may actually be enhancing your pain. By avoiding these things you may be able to augment the effects of your therapy and lessening the effects of your chronic pain. As with anything, check with your doctor or physical therapist before making any dietary changes but making small changes in concert with the work of your physical therapist may speed your journey to a pain free life.
How Physical Therapy Helps Pain.
The general goal of physical therapy is to target muscle areas where pain exists. When muscles are stronger they do a better job of supporting joints and improving mobility. Using resistance bands, weights, and low impact aerobic exercises will target weak areas and increase flexibility while lessening pain.
Pain Enhancers to avoid.
Certain things can increase the pain itself or the effect of pain on your body and mind. Smoking is all around bad for you and it is known to increase chronic pain. When people are in pain, it causes stress and anxiety for which they sometimes turn to cigarettes as a coping mechanism. This only makes the problem worse, especially for those with back injuries as smoking contributes to spinal disc deterioration as well as osteoporosis. Tobacco use also makes users feel pain more acutely and increases sensations of discomfort. There are plenty of free resources to help you get tobacco free
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Those suffering from chronic pain often turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism as well. Alcohol may have short term pain reduction effects but overall it may just make the problem worse. Drinking can disrupt your sleep cycle which may already be altered because of the pain you are experiencing. Lack of restful sleep reduces your body’s ability to heal itself, thus prolonging your pain and discomfort. It can also lead to depression and irritability.
Stress can also enhance the body’s pain response as well as disrupting other systems such as sleep and cognitive functioning. Both of these are imperative to your healing process. Find productive ways to manage stress. Take up meditation or other mindful practices. Join a support group for others with chronic pain. Talking to someone who really understands what you are going through can be very helpful. If there’s a new hobby or skill you’ve been wanting to learn, now is the time. Finding a way to distract yourself is the best cure for pain as well as stress reduction.
Things to Do for Pain Free Living.
The exercise that you do with your physical therapist is target specific and no doubt helping you with pain management. Speak to your therapist about other exercises that might be beneficial for you to do on your own that won’t risk re-injury or cause setbacks. Exercise naturally releases endorphins improving your mood overall while also blocking pain signals. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces joint stress aiding in flexibility and pain management.
Eating a healthy diet has a great many benefits and may also assist you in pain elimination. Foods that help with inflammation can be especially beneficial. Grill up some fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, or mackerel. The Omega-3 that they contain acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Green leafy vegetables boost antioxidants to speed healing and reduce inflammation as well. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are a great source of ellagic acid which decreases inflammation and illuminates joint pain.
You will reap the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle long after your physical therapy has been completed. If you have questions about physical therapy as a treatment for chronic pain contact North Platte Physical Therapy