The start of a new year is a great time to take a look at what’s working well in your life and also at areas you would like to improve. Many people make New Year’s resolutions to help them set goals and make positive changes such as:
- Eating healthier
- Exercising more
- Getting organized
If you suffer from chronic pain, these types of changes can also be beneficial for helping you manage that pain.
Manage Chronic Pain with a Healthy Diet
Many patients suffer from chronic pain due to specific health conditions that cause inflammation, including, but not limited to:
- Giant cell arteritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Certain foods are known to trigger or worsen inflammation. Knowing which foods to avoid can be an important step in reducing chronic pain, especially if you struggle with polymyalgia rheumatica, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout. Generally speaking, fried food, alcohol, sugary foods, and processed foods like deli meat or foods made with refined carbohydrates like white bread should all be limited or eliminated altogether.
Drinking plenty of water and eating a diet full of fresh foods high in calcium, vitamin D, and certain fats like omega-3, which can be found in eggs, salmon, and walnuts, can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
When you are in chronic pain, it can be difficult to convince yourself to move more, let alone exercise regularly. However, exercise has numerous mental and physical benefits, such as increased mobility, decreased inflammation, and lowered overall pain levels.
You don’t have to train for a marathon to enjoy the advantages that exercise provides. In fact, simply walking for 30 minutes several times a week can build up your strength and endurance as well as improve your cardiovascular health.
If mobility issues make walking too strenuous for you, try swimming or water aerobics as a low-impact alternative. Yoga, pilates, and other stretching exercise programs can also yield great results. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has developed specific exercises and conditioning programs to address joint pain in the hips, neck and back, knee, feet and ankle, hand and wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
There can be many pieces to the puzzle of effective pain management: diet, exercise, medication, other treatment. Organizing all these components into a cohesive treatment plan is important for your wellness but can also be daunting. You don’t have to do it alone.
At Advanced Rheumatology of Houston, our team of caring specialists diagnose and treat a wide range of rheumatic musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions and are up-to-date on the most current medications and treatments available. We can give you a better understanding of the source of your chronic pain – symptoms, triggers, causes, treatment options – and can organize and customize a treatment and management plan unique to your situation.
Call us today at (281) 766-7886 to make an appointment. We are committed to helping you find the best solutions for your chronic pain so that you can live the more comfortable life you deserve.