Do you suffer from chronic pain? If so, you’re not alone. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than three months or beyond the normal healing time for an injury or illness. While there is no cure for chronic pain, there are treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms and improve your quality of life, says Dr Brian Blick.
Tips for managing flare-ups of chronic pain.
1. One of the best ways to manage a flare-up of chronic pain is to know your triggers and avoid them if possible. Common triggers include stress, weather changes, insufficient sleep, and certain foods or drinks. If you can identify your triggers, you can take steps to avoid them or at least be prepared when a flare-up does occur.
2. If you have been prescribed medication for your chronic pain, make sure to take it as directed by your healthcare provider. Don’t skip doses or stop taking your medication without first talking to Dr Brian Blick . Taking your medication as prescribed can help prevent or lessen the severity of a flare-up.
3. Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Heat therapy dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the area, which helps relax muscles and reduce stiffness. Cold therapy numbs the area and reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Use heat therapy for stiffness and cold therapy for acute pain relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin; wrap it in a towel first.
4. Regular exercise has numerous benefits for people with chronic pain, including improved circulation, reduced inflammation, increased flexibility and range of motion, and enhanced endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers). Before starting any new exercise routine, always consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe for you to do so based on your individual health needs and condition.
5. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week if possible. Walking is a great option if you’re just getting started with exercise because it’s low-impact and easy on the joints.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation can help decrease muscle tension and ease chronic pain.