Living with Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain Affects More People Than Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, And Diabetes Combined

Pain significantly impacts our lives

"Something you will know if you live with chronic pain is that it doesn't just affect you physically. It begins to take its toll on you mentally as well. It affects your mental wellness."

This blog post is meant to provide tips on living with chronic pain- including a list of things you can try to incorporate into your life as well as videos and other resources.

Pain isn’t and shouldn’t be a taboo topic. Since everyone feels pain in some form or fashion (and will do so more than once), it’s important to not only talk about the pain but provide resources and information on how that pain can be treated. Anything from a sprained ankle, sunburn, or stress and anxiety are different forms of pain that can be remedied using natural alternatives to pills and prescriptions when used correctly.

Guy holding neck in pain

Even if you don't experience chronic pain, applying even just one thing can have an immense impact on your mental wellness and your life. Now is a time for self-care, and that doesn’t have to mean just one specific thing. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. So, if you’re interested in stepping toward a pain-free tomorrow, keep on reading. ❤️

  1. Start a meditation practice:

    Meditation is a great way to help your body and mind relax. There are many ways to meditate, so building a practice that best fits your needs will be the most helpful. Meditating every day for 20 minutes is ideal, but even just 5-8 minutes can make a difference. Having time away from the constant hustle and bustle of technology and social media is difficult to do with our shortened attention spans, but it’s important to make a conscious effort to spend some one-on-one time with yourself. Meditation is one way to do that.

    Here is just one helpful video to help walk you through your first meditation practice: 

  2. Join a support group:

    Being around people who understand and have been through similar experiences can be an empowering relief. Gaining insight into what others are doing to cope, and being there for others can help you realize you are not alone.

    Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that you need or might benefit from a support group or therapist, but many who take the plunge can agree that it helped them a little bit to talk to people going through things similar to them.

    Seeing a mental health professional can also help alleviate some of the stress and negative thoughts that can come with living with chronic pain and even make your pain worse.

    Join our tight-knit Facebook group where #PainWarriors can find:
    - Tips for living a more pain-free life
    - A supportive community
    - Information on natural approaches to health and healing
    - and more!

  3. Release endorphins with movement & exercise: 

    It’s important to acknowledge that stress is indeed a form of pain; there are ways to specifically target and relieve stress. For instance, strengthening your bones and muscles and releasing endorphins can have a natural pain-relieving and mood-boosting effect and can also help you avoid injury. Depending on the source of your pain, your doctor can recommend beneficial exercises that are safest for you. Taking a walk or dancing along to your favorite song can help release endorphins that can help relieve pain and stress.

    Read more about the importance of movement and find resources for simple exercise routines you can do from home in our blog post here.

  4. Track your pain level and your activities daily:

    Getting a better idea of your activities and your daily pain level can help you and your doctor help treat your pain more effectively. Being aware of what activities can trigger the most pain can help you plan your days accordingly. Plus, if you’re consistent with it, you know exactly where you spend most of your day, rather than just assuming you spend it in one orientation or another.

    The Chronic Pain Association provides many resources for managing life with chronic pain including a pain log and Daily Activity Checklist:

  5. Find something you're passionate about and love doing:

    Having something you love to do can help distract you from the pain and provide motivation. Finding something that gives you purpose can help you get through the days when motivation isn't quite enough. Sometimes getting started on a hobby is hard, but the reward is completely worth it as you’ll feel you’re actively learning and accomplishing something, no matter how large or how small.

    Here are a few things you can try, if you're having trouble thinking of something:

    • Knitting hats for the homeless and others in need
    • Blogging or writing
    • Beading or listening to books, taking up photography
    • Getting involved in your local community
    • Volunteering
    • Putting together clothing and food drives
    • Mentorship programs
    • Donating used towels and such to animal shelters (or even just visiting animal shelters to play with the dogs and cats)
    • Joining a group that gets together to do various activities in your area, etc.
  6. Reduce/manage stress:

    Because things like stress, anger, anxiety, and depression can increase your body's sensitivity to pain, it is important to learn ways to manage your stress. Mindfulness, meditation, cutting back on alcohol and smoking, getting enough sleep, making time for hobbies, and having someone to talk to can all help. Of course, that list isn’t a complete, perfect guide to overcoming your individual pains and stresses, but we’d love to hear other things you do.

    Herbal Mana employees love using our Hope cream to help calm feelings of stress and bring a natural boost of energy throughout the day.

    You may also find specific types of therapy, like CBT to be helpful.

    Primarily used for anxiety and depression, the goal of CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) is to change patterns of behavior or thinking in order to change the way we're feeling. This can be useful when dealing with negative thoughts, particularly centered around your pain.

    There are many resources online for CBT that you can do from home! Here is just one workbook specific to pain management.

    Another one of our favorites is the "Get out of Your Mind and Into Your Life" workbook centered around Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which teaches mindfulness and increases our psychological flexibility. Have you tried targeted therapy? If so, what kind did you go for and how did it work for you?

  7. Improve your sleep:

    When experiencing chronic pain, getting enough sleep can be that much more difficult. Meditation, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques can help you fall asleep and get back to sleep on restless nights.

    It also helps to put down the technology an hour before bed and allow yourself proper time to wind down and get ready for sleep. Or, at the very least, put your phone on sunset mode so that you aren’t hindering sleep by using too much blue light right before bed.

    Making sure you cut back on caffeine earlier in the day allows the effects of the caffeine to wear off in enough time for your brain to trigger the chemicals it needs for a good nights' sleep.

    Creating a bedtime ritual can also help you feel more tired and ready for bed when it's time to sleep. This can include washing your face, reading for a few minutes, or taking a warm bath.

    Sleep Therapy Pack with magnesium cream in a blue jar and ebooksWant to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up with more energy? Get our Sleep Therapy Pack and learn the exact steps to create effective night routine habits and healthy lifestyle changes for better sleep quality PLUS our Sleep cream and liquid roller bottle formula!

    "I purchased Herbal Mana Sleep Cream. It has helped with the pain from neuropathy that my Dad is suffering from. He said it felt better within 20 minutes, It didn't put him to sleep for very long, but he was more relaxed and in less pain that he had been for days! Last night, my sister, Mom and Dad all used it and they all got a fairly good sleep, for the first time in days. I myself have been using Luna Warrior and have seen a huge improvement in the amount of pain I was having in my neck. Try this, all you can do is give it a try and if it works, then you are going to be so happy you did!" - Teresa Medina

    Learn more here.

     

  8. Be mindful of what you eat, drink, and do

    Happy woman cutting vegetables food on counter while smilingWith sleep in mind, studies show that cutting back on certain foods and drinks can help you not only get better sleep but feel better generally. For instance, cutting back on (or simply foregoing) alcohol can not only reduce bloating but make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, let alone the fact that it can vastly improve your quality of life.

    Super sugary foods should be avoided, specifically things with added sugars. Natural sugars that you’ll find in fruits and vegetables are necessary and unavoidable, but refined sugars and carbohydrates, for that matter, are low in nutrients making them energy parasites. With carbs, anything with “wheat flour” on the ingredients list should be avoided for the same reason. It’s always best to opt for whole foods, grains, and natural sugars rather than their processed counterparts not only for health purposes but for remedying food-related discomfort. That way you get all the rich nutrients and antioxidants that come with colorful foods, rather than smothering them in blankets of nothing.

    Saturated and trans fats are also something to avoid but are found in many of America’s favorite foods, like red meats, processed foods, fried foods, dairy, coffee creamer, and so forth. Try opting for better alternatives to those fats, as good fats can be found in olive oils, avocados, fish, and more.

    We already touched on dairy, but it’s no surprise that it should get its own category. Lactose, which is found in all the popular dairy products such as milk, cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt, is a big contributor to bodily inflammation, and many find it difficult to digest. Dairy just adds to your discomfort, despite being tasty, so it’s just not worth it in our minds.

 

Visit the herbalmana.com for more natural pain relief resources, like our best-selling Inner Warrior blend. Inner Warrior was made with Fibromyalgia Warriors and others suffering from nerve pain, muscle pain, and fatigue in mind. We’ve got tons of pain-relieving products, tips, and blogs to help get you to feeling your best ASAP.

Release your Inner Warrior!

References:

“Progress in Biomedical Science Has Advanced Our Understanding of Chronic Pain.” Watch Chronic Pain In Action | Official Website, www.chronicpaindrivers.com/chronic-pain-data.

“11 Tips for Living With Chronic Pain.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/11-tips-for-living-with-chronic-pain#1.

“The ACPA.” The ACPA, www.theacpa.org/.

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