Living with chronic pain can be a real struggle. Most of us will do anything to keep this pain at bay. In most cases, this involves constantly topping ourselves up with meds, but there are other ways to relieve the pain. Here are just five natural ways to help fight the discomfort and make chronic pain less debilitating.
Take a hot bath
A hot bath isn’t just good for your personal hygiene – it can also relieve pain in many cases. It’s most effective with joint and muscular pain. The heat and buoyancy of the bath water can help to loosen up your muscles and joints, reducing the risk of spasms and cramps. The sensation of hot water on the skin also releases endorphins around the body. These are our happy hormones and are effective at helping to numb pain. Although not medically proven to make a difference, many people find that using Epsom bath salts helps.
Book a massage
Booking a massage could also help to relieve some of the pain. Just like a hot bath, a massage releases endorphins and helps muscles and joints to relax. You could visit a chiropractor who may be able to target certain muscles and pressure points. That said, a regular massage is likely to relieve a lot of the pain too.
When in pain, lying on the sofa can often be the most tempting thing to do. However, a lack of exercise could make chronic pain worse in many cases. Weight gain for example can often put more pressure on joints and make joint pain significantly worse. Exercising won’t just help to keep weight off, it will flood your body with endorphins and also get blood flowing to all parts of your body, flushing out toxins and helping muscles to become less stiff. You should of course be careful as to which exercises you do as certain ones may aggravate pain. Activities like swimming and yoga are two safe bets that can help relieve any pain.
Stress may be making your pain worse. The stress hormone cortisol makes our senses more alert, including our susceptibility to pain. Stress can also cause our muscles and joints to tighten up, which could aggravate certain muscle and joint problems. By taking measures to reduce stress in your life, you could find that some of the pain subsides. Many of the above methods can help to relieve stress, Other stressbusters include meditation, listening to music and getting a good night’s sleep.
Break the bad habits
Certain bad habits like smoking and drinking could also be making pain worse. Whilst the high of nicotine and alcohol can often numb pain for short periods, they can aggravate pain in the long run. Smoking has been linked to joint inflammation, high cholesterol and poor bone health, whilst heavy drinking can damage nerve endings. Try not to use these habits as coping mechanisms as the temporary comfort isn’t worth the heightened pain you’ll feel later.