Habits That Naturally Guard Against Chronic Pain
By Michael Cole
Managing chronic pain from various health problems and simple wear and tear on the body is a common challenge for many Americans. What follows are some habits that can help to manage pain or even keep it from developing in the first place.
Being motivated to exercise can be difficult when youâ€™re in pain, but physical activity has been proven to bring relief to conditions of chronic pain. By keeping the body limbered and accustomed to movement, exercise makes the completion of daily tasks easier. When a person is active and independent, good health is a natural consequence. Maintaining function, despite any pain that may be felt, should be the goal. Studies show that simple fitness programs like daily walking or pedaling on a stationary bike for a half-hour can go far in keeping pain levels tolerable.
Inflammation is one of the most common conditions leading to chronic pain. Eating foods like broccoli, tomatoes, fish, and green tea has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory effects. However, experts warn not to go overboard on eating just one set of specific foods. Itâ€™s important to eat a whole range of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. By avoiding processed foods that are often loaded with sugar and salt, the risk of chronic pain is also reduced.
Regulate Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption is a complex subject because there are both benefits and risks to health involved with it. Scientific research shows that for people with chronic pain, however, those who consumed moderate amounts were less likely to suffer from disability than those who drank none at all. Yet this doesnâ€™t mean that doctors recommend drinking. Too much alcohol has been associated with a whole host of negative health effects, including an increase in accident risks and liver damage.
Smoking and chronic pain go hand in hand. This is because tobacco reduces the level of oxygen in the blood, which normally would flow into bones and tissues. By lowering the oxygen supply in the blood, smoking causes low back pain and osteoporosis. This oxygen reduction can also slow down the bodyâ€™s natural healing process, making chronic pain disorders even more painful than they normally would be.
Get a Massage
Perhaps the only good news about having chronic pain is that scientific evidence solidly backs the utility of getting a massage. From lower back pain to fibromyalgia, a good massage is scientifically proven to bring relief, at least temporarily.
Of course, chiropractic care can also provide relief against chronic pain, and it is recommended that chiropractic used as a regular part of your healthcare program will be beneficial in fighting long-term pain with the added benefit of fighting short-term pain.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Irvine, Calif.