Living with chronic pain feels like a never-ending battle for the 20% of adults who suffer. But there are strategies for managing the discomfort and improving your quality of life. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips for living with chronic pain that will help you live a happier and healthier lifestyle. By taking the right steps, you’ll be able to enjoy life even while battling an ongoing enemy such as chronic pain.

Finding Some Relief With Lifestyle Changes

Living with chronic pain can be a difficult and taxing experience to manage, but there are lifestyle changes that, over time, can help to ease your symptoms. 

Physical activity and a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and muscle tone. But managing stress and getting enough sleep are also essential to your overall wellness. Mind-body exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gung address both your physical and mental health, focusing on breathing techniques and gentle movements. Meditation is another excellent way to lower stress.

Finding a support group for people with chronic pain can help alleviate some of the isolation you may feel. Knowing that you’re not alone and being able to share your experiences can give you a sense of community and the chance to grow supportive relationships with others who understand your situation.

Exercising With Chronic Pain

It may be hard to imagine trying to exercise, especially on days you can barely get out of bed. Fortunately, some gentle exercises can still provide significant therapeutic benefits without causing additional pain. 

In addition to the mind-body activities already mentioned, low-impact activities such as swimming and walking have plenty of health benefits. Swimming and water aerobics help strengthen muscles and reduce pain with minimal stress on the joints. Walking is another simple yet effective exercise that gets the heart pumping and strengthens leg muscles. 

Foods That Fight Inflammation

Many foods can contribute to inflammation in the body and should be limited or eliminated from your diet. These include processed and fried foods, sugary drinks and desserts, refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, red meat and processed meats like bacon and sausage, and alcohol. 

Replace those with foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help fight inflammation. These include:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
  • Berries such as blueberries and strawberries, 
  • Fatty fish like salmon and tuna
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds and chia seeds
  • Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. 

Massage Therapy

In addition to lifestyle changes, people with chronic pain are discovering that massage therapy can effectively reduce pain intensity and improve the overall quality of life.

It can also help improve sleep patterns and reduce anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain. Different types of massage techniques may be used depending on the specific needs of the individual, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy. 

Finding What Works for You

Living with chronic pain can be challenging, but there are many ways to manage it. Our Advanced Rheumatology of Houston staff will work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.

Physical activity, a healthy diet, quality sleep, and massage therapy all work together to effectively alleviate chronic pain and improve your quality of life. Investing in your self-care is investing in yourself. Contact us to schedule a massage service by calling (281) 766-7886.