Be Thankful for being Pain-Free this November
November is the time of the year for people to take stock of their lives and remember all the good things they have. On Thanksgiving we usually go around the table and say what we're thankful for. Most say family, loved ones, or successes they've had during the year. But does anyone say they're grateful for not being in pain? If you've never experienced it, then it's easy to take for granted. But they're the lucky ones.
50.2 million people live with chronic pain in the U.S. About 20 percent of American adults — 50.2 million people — live with chronic pain, saying they experience it most days or every day, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the health status of U.S. adults.
Here are some tips to help you on your journey to be thankful for being pain-free.
1. All in the Attitude - Negative feelings like depression, anxiety, stress, and anger can increase the body's sensitivity to pain. By learning to take control of stress, you may find some relief from chronic pain.
2. Get Moving - Not moving is bad for your body and can lead to more pain. Talk to your healthcare provider or a physical therapist about a safe exercise program that's right for you. It should be geared to your current fitness level and take all of your diagnoses into account. Don't just think of the gym, either. You can exercise at home on your own or with streaming videos or DVDs, or you can find a rehabilitative exercise class in your area.
3. Cut it Out -Pain makes sleep difficult, and alcohol can make sleep problems worse. If you're living with chronic pain, drinking less or no alcohol can improve your quality of life.
4. Find Solutions - There are many options you can try other than medications to relieve your pain. Some are as simple as massage or acupuncture. Some people swear by herbal medicines. There are also at home pain therapy devices. If you suffer from neck pain or migraines an EverRelief Cervical Neck Traction Device can ease your discomfort by releasing the tension you feel by stretching out your neck muscles while you relax and feel the relief.
5. You are what you eat- A well-balanced diet is important in many ways -- aiding your digestive process, reducing heart disease risk and keeping weight under control. To eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet, choose from these: fresh fruits & vegetables; cooked dried beans and peas; whole-grain breads and cereals; low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt; and lean meats.
6. Talk it Out - Two in 10 Americans have suffered from chronic pain at some point in their lives. Chances are that someone close to you understands exactly what living with chronic pain is like. You may both benefit by talking about and sharing your struggles. Support groups can be great, as well. Not only do your peers have advice and tips on what techniques and products worked for them, but they can also be a sympathetic ear when you need to talk.
7. Accept the Help- You family, friends, neighbors and loved ones can see when you're struggling. It's always a good idea to let them in and let them help. They can run to the grocery store when you're having a bad day or take the dog for a walk if you just don't feel up to it. Not only will it help you feel better in body, but in mind too by knowing you have the support on your side.
Hopefully these ideas will help you focus on the good and find something to be thankful for this month. We'd love to hear any tips that help you through the tough times, so leave a comment below and good luck finding the pain relief you're looking for.