Pain, pain, go away

Published in Lifestyle Health, For the Health of It Author: Paula Foreman, PA-C

What can be done for a new injury?

With a new injury, it is important to reduce swelling through rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). When you feel able, early movement is very important to promote ongoing healing. If you question the severity of your injury, it is best to see your doctor.

What is chronic pain?

Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. It’s normal for you to have pain when you are injured or ill. But pain that lasts for weeks, months, or years is not normal. Generally, chronic pain occurs after the ‘normal’ healing time. If you experience chronic pain, your doctor can help you manage it. It’s important to identify all the factors contributing to pain and change as many as possible.

How do you manage chronic pain?

To reduce your chronic pain, try these simple lifestyle changes:

  • Exercise. Chemicals produced in the body with exercise — even light exercise — can reverse and lower chronic pain levels.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can worsen painful circulation problems and increase your risk of chronic diseases.
  • Eat a balanced diet. A well-balanced diet aids your digestive process, reduces heart disease risk, keeps weight under control and improves blood sugar levels.
  • Limit alcohol use. Pain makes sleep difficult and alcohol can make sleep problems worse.
  • Relax your mind and body. Since stress can intensify pain, try deep breathing or meditation.

Managing chronic pain can help prevent it in the future.

  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Treat your health problems early.
  • Learn to alternate activity with rest throughout each day
  • Reduce stress in your life.

Staying in good physical and mental health may be the best way to prevent chronic pain or help you cope with the constant pain.