Tripping over your dog’s leash can hurt. Stubbing your toe really hurts. But living with chronic pain always hurts. So why not give yourself some pain protection by taking some steps to avoid chronic pain?
It can’t hurt to try.
Exercise the Mind-Body Connection
Research suggests pain involves the body and the mind. These techniques can help you override the pain signals:
- Activate the Relaxation Response. Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet space and close your eyes. Take deep “belly breaths” by inhaling deeply so that your belly sticks out as far as possible. Hold each breath for a few seconds, then exhale. Concentrate on your deep breathing. When thoughts interrupt, think of or whisper a word or phrase to regain focus (like ‘cool breeze’, ‘calm’, etc.). Do this for 10 to 20 minutes. Lastly, sit quietly for a minute or two, then open your eyes and sit quietly for another minute.
- Activate Mindfulness. Total focus on an everyday activity you enjoy, such as cooking, reading, playing an instrument, gardening, or writing. Focus on the details of your activity and how your emotions and senses are reacting to it.
- Do Mind-Body Exercises. Tai-Chi and Yoga incorporate breath control, stretching, and muscle-building.
- Stay Positive. When we are depressed or sick, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have or how we want things to be. Focusing on the good things you have can help you maintain a positive attitude. Keep a daily journal where you record positive thoughts.
Eat to Reduce Inflammation
You eat every day. Why not make your diet help you fight pain? Try adding some of these antioxidant, inflammation-reducing superfoods into your diet:
- raw vegetables: spinach, broccoli, beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
- green tea
- dark chocolate
You may be in the mood to start a new diet. Diets low in refined carbohydrates such as the Mediterranean or Vegan diets can help you lose weight and reduce inflammation and pain.
Get Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
It’s important to see a qualified mental health professional as soon as possible if you think you have depression.
The chance of developing chronic pain can be higher with depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety can also make pain worse.
Hire A Physical Therapist
Physical therapists are body-movement experts who can help you avoid chronic pain through exercise.
A physical therapist also helps you achieve your body goals, whether you need to rehab an injury, want to get in shape, or just want to learn to exercise more effectively.
Our Expert Chronic Pain Treatment
Almost everyone experiences chronic pain at some point. At Texas Pain Physicians, our friendly team of doctors are experts in treating and managing chronic pain. Give us a call today!