Tips on Managing Chronic Pain


What is Considered Chronic Pain?

According to Hopkins Medicine, chronic pain is pain that persists longer than six months and can often last for years. Chronic pain occurs beyond the recovery time of surgery or illness and sometimes along with chronic health conditions.


Headaches, arthritis, cancer, nerve pain, back pain, and fibromyalgia are all conditions linked to chronic pain (CDC).


Chronic pain can physically and mentally affect your health. Physical effects include tense muscles, limited mobility, lack of energy, and change in appetite. Emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of getting injured again. Below you will find a list of tips to manage chronic pain and improve your physical and mental health.

  • Exercise

  • Weight Loss

  • Physical Therapy

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

  • Iontophoresis (electrical stimulation)

  • Ultrasound Therapy (directs sound waves into tissue)

  • Mind-body Techniques (mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises)

  • Yoga and Tai Chi

  • Therapeutic Massage

  • Psychotherapy

  • Over-the-counter medications (medication that doesn't need prescriptions)

  • Acupuncture (insertion of fine needles into the skin at specific times on the body)

Food and Nutrients

An article created by Harvard Health talks about whether diet can help heal chronic pain. A visiting researcher at Harvard health stated that most chronic pain results from chronic inflammation and that diet plays a role in inflammation. Below is a list of foods and nutrients that should be must-haves in your diet to help avoid altering our immune system.

  • Micronutrients Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

  • Antioxidants Apples, Red wine, Chocolate, Olive oil, Turmeric

  • Omega-3 fatty acids Olive oil, Flaxseed oil, Fatty fish

Living with Chronic pain is not easy, but incorporating some of these tips into your lifestyle and diet can help you manage. If you are interested in treating your chronic pain with Physical therapy, Occupational therapy or Acupuncture, please call Arrowhead Orthopaedics at (909)557-1600 to schedule a consultation. We'd love to help you!


Sources:

5 foods rich IN HEART-HEALTHY Polyphenols: Heart: Nutrition: UT Southwestern Medical Center. Heart | Nutrition | UT Southwestern Medical Center. (n.d.). https://utswmed.org/medblog/polyphenols/.


Acute pain vs. chronic pain: Differences & causes. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12051-acute-vs-chronic-pain.


Can diet heal chronic pain? Harvard Health. (2021, February 15). https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/can-diet-heal-chronic-pain.


Chronic pain. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/chronic-pain.


Chronic pain: Symptoms, treatments. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4798-chronic-pain.


Micronutrients have major impact on health. Harvard Health. (2021, February 15). https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/micronutrients-have-major-impact-on-health.


Non-opioid options for managing chronic pain. Harvard Health. (2016, September 1). https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/non-opioid-options-for-managing-chronic-pain.


Team, W. (2020, December 4). 8 vitamins & minerals you need for a healthy immune system. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/eat-these-foods-to-boost-your-immune-system/.

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