Living a life with chronic pain can be complicated. Pain not only affects you, but it can also affect your friends and family, and potentially your work productivity. It can impact every aspect of your life, from difficult physical exertion to common tasks, like tying your shoes.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, you’re not alone. As many as 100 million Americans deal with some form of chronic pain.
The beginning of a new year is almost always seen as a renewal, a fresh start, a sense of hope for something better. You can take your life back from daily chronic pain. You may have started and stopped many times in your pain management journey, that’s ok. Sometimes it’s necessary.
Here are a few tips to begin or continue your pain management journey in 2022.
Set up a system, not a resolution or goal
The goal or resolution to live a healthier life can be better achieved through establishing a system. A system makes your goal attainable. It’s concrete. It gets you moving in the right direction. A system is something you do on a regular basis. It might look like:
Drink more water. Whatever you are drinking now, double it if it is less than 40 oz per day. Dehydration can make chronic pain worse. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water. Avoid caffeinated drinks, like coffee and tea, as well as alcohol since these beverages will actually make you more dehydrated.
Move more. Analyze how much you sit and how much you move. Adjust accordingly—even if it’s a small amount.
Find support in fellow pain warriors. Stay connected with others who might share the same battle. Holding space for your pain flare ups with an understanding friend might help you go through those moments with less grief.
Create a sleep routine. One-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the CDC. The Sleep Foundation offers these tips to build a better sleep routine: decide on bedtime, leave electronics alone, have a light snack or bedtime tea, take a warm bath, listen to music, stretch & breath, practice meditation, read a good book, write down a to-do list or journal and prep your bedroom. Pick 1-2 changes you can start implementing today.
Research your pain management options
It’s common that most people do not know the difference between conventional pain management and interventional pain management. Conventional pain management includes medication treatments and over-the-counter medication to manage pain flare-ups. Essentially any type of treatment that does not invade the body in order to alleviate pain. It does not address the root of the problem; it simply band-aids. Interventional pain management (IPM) focuses on finding the root cause and interrupting the pain cycle. IPM is an ideal treatment for both acute and chronic pain and can be used to alleviate even the most complex source of pain. Interventional pain management doctors partner with you to establish a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. Pain sufferers are aware of the opioid epidemic that plagues our nation. Interventional pain management doctors are at the forefront of making a change to better the lives of pain sufferers through comprehensive treatment plans.
[maybe more on what an interventional pain doctor does?]
IPM doctors start with a thorough evaluation of your pain and overall health. With this data, the doctors consider all of the available, relevant treatment options and create the plan that best addresses the causes of pain. For a more complete look at IPM, read our blog from last month.
Everyone’s pain is different and there are many factors that cause flare-ups. Stress, depression, anger, anxiety or fear, intrusive thoughts, isolation, underdoing, or overdoing can create more pain signals in the body. Taking back your life by putting yourself in charge of your day helps you manage chronic pain better.
The goal of interventional pain management is to help you find the best function and quality of life possible.
If pain is disrupting your life, there’s hope. Our interventional pain management team can help you take control of your health by providing you with information and treatment options. It’s time to get your life back. There’s no reason for you to suffer. Your first step is to click or call. Our Care Team is ready to walk you through your recovery, step by step. We provide expert pain care, close to home.