Five Tips for Managing Chronic Pain

Pain is the body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. It can appear suddenly or build slowly over time. It can range from mild and intermittent to severe and persistent. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) indicates that acute pain, if left untreated, can lead to chronic pain.

So how do you know if you’re suffering from Acute Pain or Chronic Pain?

Acute pain is defined as pain that comes on suddenly. It can be brief or last for weeks or months. Acute pain goes away once the cause has been treated.

Chronic pain is defined as ongoing pain. It may result from an injury or infection or be psychogenic, meaning that it is unrelated to injury. Chronic pain persists for months or years and affects your physical and emotional well-being.

Here are five tips to help you manage your chronic pain:

  1. Stay Hydrated.
    Dehydration can aggravate symptoms of chronic pain, like headaches and back pain. Water keeps you hydrated without extra calories, sodium or caffeine.
  1. Stick to a Healthy Diet
    Stick to an easy-to-digest diet free from processed foods. This can help alleviate inflammation. These foods include: leafy greens, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, asparagus, low-sugar fruits (cherries, cranberries, plums and pineapple) and soy products. Stay away from foods that attribute to inflammation. These foods include: chocolate, eggs, high-fat red meat, wheat products, red wine, coffee and soda.
  1. Don’t Smoke
    Smoking can worsen painful circulation problems. It also increases your risk for heart disease and cancer.
  1. Try Yoga
    Yoga promotes strength and flexibility while calming the mind and decreasing stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown those individuals who practice yoga and meditation have a decreased level of stress, which can help those suffering from chronic pain.
  1. Practice Proper Posture
    Many of us fall prey to the “C-slump” (a rounded back and head in front of the spine) which can impair nerve and blood flow. Keep proper posture by keeping your head directly above a tall, straight spine to prevent strain on your back and neck muscles.

To learn more about managing chronic pain, please visit jonesboropain.com or call Northeast Arkansas Pain Medicine at 870.972.0411.

Dr. Calin Savu attended medical school at the Institute of Medicine & Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania and completed his residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Savu is a member in the American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Academy of Pain Management, International Society for the Study of Pain, Arkansas Medical Society, Arkansas Pain Society and the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. 

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