Chronic Pain: The Top 5 Tips
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What is chronic pain?
Chances are, you’ve experienced the sensation we call “pain” at some point in your life … but if you’re lucky, it won’t have been what’s called chronic pain.
Pain is a natural, normal part of your body’s immune system. It’s the mechanism that tells your brain that something is wrong … so you’ll try to make it right. The experience and memory of pain is how you know to pull your finger away from a flame, or avoid grabbing something that looks sharp.
But when pain doesn’t go away – when it lasts for 3 months or more – it’s called chronic pain. This kind of pain can be intermittent (it comes and goes) or constant (lasts all the time). It can have a known cause, like surgery, an inflammation, or a medical condition like arthritis or shingles. Sometimes the cause of the pain is unknown. But whatever the cause, you’re not alone … it’s been estimated that as many as 1/3 of Canadians may suffer from this kind of pain.
Identifying whether you have chronic pain, and what might be causing it, is a good first step. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor or another health care professional like the Pharmacist at Walmart, and tell them about your pain.
Tip 1: Exercise can help
Perhaps you think of exercise as a cause of pain. It’s true, we’ve all overdone a workout or a run from time to time, and woken up with some lingering discomfort the next morning.
But where chronic pain is concerned, daily, gentle exercise can actually help relieve it. Why?
Remember, if you’re in pain, you should
Always talk to your doctor or a health care professional before you start any new exercise program, to make sure it’s safe and right for you.
Tip 2: A healthy diet can help, too
Your eating habits are important for your overall health and well-being … and they can help you manage your pain as well.
Eating a well-balanced diet as recommended by Canada’s Food Guide is a good start. This can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a major risk factor that can worsen many chronic pain conditions, including back pain.
Drinking plenty of water is also a good idea, since the lack of water (called dehydration) is believed to make certain types of chronic pain (like some headaches or lower back pain) worse.
Tip 3: Mind matters
Nobody is about to suggest that pain is “all in your mind”. It’s a very real sensation you’re feeling. But there are things you can do to help train your brain deal with the pain that you feel … and this can help you keep it under control.
Biofeedback training can help teach your body to control your response to pain. It’s often recommended for dealing with pain caused by frequent migraine headaches.
Tip 4: Get a good night’s sleep
This may sound easier said than done. Chronic pain is often the very reason that people have trouble getting a good night’s sleep in the first place. But getting enough sleep is important in helping to lower pain.
How can you help yourself sleep better?
Tip 5: Don’t suffer alone
You may find that dealing with your pain is a lonely struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. Far from “suffering in silence”, you’ll find that talking about your pain with others can be a good way to help you overcome it.
Talk to your doctor or the Pharmacist at Walmart about your pain. They know about many pain management options, and can suggest a therapy or a treatment that might work for your situation.
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- Mulberry Zuccarin Max™
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.
Any representation, performance claim, warranty or guarantee in any materials herein is the sole responsibility of the sponsor that has prepared such materials and is not independently verified by Walmart.
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