If your new year started off with more challenging aches and pains than exciting new adventures, you're most certainly not alone.
Millions of people live with chronic pain in the U.S., and approximately 24 million adults experience limited activity due to arthritis pain. Even more, 1 in 4 adults living with arthritis report severe joint pain that dramatically impacts their lives.
It can be incredibly frustrating when the new year rolls around and you're feeling extra motivated to achieve new goals and aspirations, but your body doesn't seem to want to cooperate. We know what it's like and we're here to support you...
When it comes to coping with chronic pain or mobility issues caused by pain, it can be challenging to keep an optimistic mindset. However, there are some tips and tricks you can try in addition to your regularly prescribed pain treatments and medications.
Why not use the positive energy and motivation that rolls in around this of year to try some new approaches to pain management that you might not have tried before?
Clinical studies are now finding that a consistent meditation practice (especially with visualization or positive affirmations) can actually reduce sensory processing of pain and decrease your brain's response to physical pain.
One specific study led by Dr. Fadel Zeidan, PhD of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, found that meditating for about 20 minutes per day can cut pain levels in half in just four days.
In other words, you can actually train your brain to better cope with pain through the practice of meditation. Not only this, but since stress amplifies chronic pain, meditation can invite beneficial feelings of relaxation and help individuals better cope with emotions.
Our bodies function best when we eat a nutritious, natural diet full of fruits, vegetables, fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein. When we eat too many processed, artificial, sugary, or fried foods, it causes the body to create an inflammatory response to these "foreign invaders."
This causes more inflammation in the body, and ultimately increased pain and discomfort. Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet has been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation over time.
Some studies also show that adding more healthy fats, especially olive oil, to your diet can also assist in decreasing pain.
Used for centuries in holistic healing, natural remedies, and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric contains a compound known as curcuminoids that has been proven to drastically decrease inflammation.
A potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, turmeric has become one of the world's most beloved superfoods when it comes to coping with pain and inflammation.
A standardized extract of turmeric extract with the recommended dosage (400mg) is best when adding turmeric to your pain management plan.
When dealing with chronic pain, therapeutic massage becomes more of a necessity than an indulgence. This is because certain massage techniques can remove some of the tension from aching muscles and joints, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Massage can also help create sensations in other parts of your body that will distract you from the areas of pain. If massage isn't in the budget, try using a low-cost vibrating self-massager on affected areas for a similar effect.
Sometimes, the unfortunate truth is that chronic pain will get the upper hand and the best thing we can do is to master the art of distraction. However, don't underestimate the power of distraction, as it can actually be a highly effective technique.
Try joining a support group that offers great discussion, or simply watch a funny movie, go out with friends or family as much as possible, or engage in any enjoyable activity you can manage. The goal is to divert your mind's attention elsewhere for as long as possible.
It may take a great deal of mental strength but bouncing your mind from task to task and staying busy will at least help a bit when all else fails.
WE HOPE YOU FOUND SOME OF THESE TIPS USEFUL!
DO YOU HAVE ANY METHODS FOR COPING WITH PAIN? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IT'S ABOUT RECONNECTING.