Living with chronic pain is never easy, but the good news is that there are several things that you can do to help yourself better manage it. Many people who suffer with chronic pain on a regular basis worry about the side effects of taking medication on a long-term basis, so you might be wondering if there is anything that you can do to relieve your symptoms without a prescription. In some cases, your doctor may be unable to prescribe you regular medication to help you manage your pain. Here are some of the main things you can do to stay in control.
1. Use Deep Breathing and Meditation to Encourage Relaxation:
Meditation and deep breathing are techniques that can help your body to relax. It gives your muscles a quiet message to relax, helping them release any built-up tension and pressure. Focusing on deep breathing, ignoring intrusive thoughts, and even repeating a mantra can help your body to relax. It’s possible to learn meditation on your own with several online tutorials that you can follow, and if you find it’s more helpful, you can also take a class.
2. Reduce Stress in Your Life:
Stress and other negative feelings such as depression, anxiety, and anger can intensify chronic pain and increase your body’s sensitivity to pain. Learning to take control of your stress can be one of the best ways to help you manage your chronic pain. There are several techniques that you can use to promote relaxation and reduce stress in every aspect of your life. Listening to soothing, calming music is a great way to lift your mood, help you relax and make living with chronic pain easier for you. You can even find specially designed relaxation playlists and CDs for this purpose.
3. Exercise Regularly:
Although exercising may be the last thing on your mind when you are suffering with chronic pain, some regular, gentle exercise can make a huge difference to how you feel. When you exercise, endorphins are released, which are brain chemicals that improve your mood whilst also blocking pain signals. In addition, getting more exercise will also help to strengthen your muscles, which will prevent re-injury and further pain. Exercise has a wide range of benefits including keeping your weight under control, reducing your risk of heart disease, and controlling your blood sugar levels. Speak to your doctor about the right kind of exercise for you.
4. Improve Your Sleep Habits:
Getting enough sleep at night can make a massive difference to how you feel and make it much easier for you to manage chronic pain. There are several things that you can do to enjoy better sleep, from something as simple as using an eye mask for sleeping to encourage your body’s melatonin production, to cutting back on alcohol to get a better night’s sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene, which involves having a set sleeping and waking routine, and only using your bed for its designated purpose.
5. Get Support:
Last but not least, getting support can make it much easier for you to manage chronic pain without the help of medication. Consider joining a support group where you can meet with and get ideas and advice from people in a similar situation to yourself. Chronic pain can also lead to mental health worries such as depression and anxiety, therefore it’s worth considering meeting with a mental health professional who can offer therapy and support to help you regain control over your body and mind.
Living with chronic pain doesn’t mean that you need to commit to regular prescription drugs. With these techniques, you can manage your pain more naturally.