This is a guest post by Jessica Kelley from CareHappiness.com.
It is still possible to live a relatively comfortable, happy, active and fulfilled life while suffering from chronic back pain. Statistics have it that treating and managing chronic illnesses (including back pain) costs upwards of $100 billion in the USA alone. So the first thing you need to understand is that you are not alone.
But how do you live with the challenges associated with chronic back pain? This resource seeks to offer you helpful, practical and effective ways to cope with your problems.
How to Effortlessly Lead a Healthier Lifestyle
Several simple things you can include in your daily routine can help you lead a healthier life than what you are going through now. First; however, you need to visit a doctor, preferably a specialist, to decipher what could be wrong. Depending on the problem, he or she may recommend other treatments such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy.
In the meantime, you can make simple but strategic adjustments to your daily routines to minimize the pain, the discomfort and to make you feel better. Here are some few tips:
1. Involve in some levels of physical activity
Choose a reasonable workout program (discuss with your doctor first) that supports spinal health. Good examples include swimming, strolling, and other low-impact aerobic activities.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Long-standing back pain sometimes results from (or is worsened by) obesity or being overweight. In such a case, your spine is overloaded, leading to constant pain. Losing weight is vital to living a healthier life. Watch your eating habits and take part in physical activity.
3. Avoid stress and depression
These two are the hallmarks of unabating back pain. They make the pain worse. When you tense, your muscles are tensed and contract worsening pain. Therefore, try as much as you can to manage stress and depression. Focus only on positive thoughts. Meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques are also helpful.
4. Adopt good habits at home and work
You can do many things to support your spine while at work and/or at home. For instance, bending your knees to pick or receive a load shift weight from your back to your legs thereby eliminating back pain. If your job includes a lot of sitting, then you should leave your seat as often as possible to walk around and stretch. A wise move would be to buy an ergonomic chair to support your lumber. You also need to keep up good posture to eliminate the burden on your spine.
5 Ways to Cope With Chronic Back Pain
It is obvious you have done everything you possibly can to manage your seemingly unending back pain. However, a few things you may not have known can help you survive better with the never-ending pain. Most people with chronic pain tend to be lonely. You should not make that mistake. Seclusion can exacerbate the pain.
Avoid being alone by joining walking groups, attending and participating in spine-health programs and forums and accepting others into your home. So long as you are with people, you will not think about the pain. The best techniques to help you live with chronic pain include:
1. Know more about your back pain
The first step in coping better with your infirmity is to understand what is happening to you. The things you must know include the particular cause of the condition, the signs and symptoms, factors that ease or make it worse and the medical way to relieve pain. While you can use information available on the internet, the doctor is your best source.
2. Involve your family
Your family is the number one partner to bring on board if you want to subsist better with your trials. Include them in everything you do. Certain lifestyle changes such as diet may need all the family members to be supportive. They are most likely to understand your situation and find ways to help you through it.
3. Use pain relievers
Depending on your condition and the level of pain you are going through, doctors may prescribe some medications for pain relief. It is important that you take the medications as prescribed. Taking under-dose or overdose, or missing a dose altogether, can lead to serious consequences.
4. Join support groups
In a support group, people share their experiences, including successes and failures. It is the perfect environment where you can learn new strategies to help you with living a happy, meaningful life despite chronic ailment. You will also gain strength and confidence in knowing you are not alone in the struggle.
5. Seek a counselor
Counseling can be on personal or family level. If the effects of chronic back pain overwhelm you, then it may be wise to seek individual counseling. This will allow you to express private and sensitive feelings about your health and the effects it has on your relationships and lifestyles.
Counselors are well trained and equipped to help you with insights about coping with your affliction. Since your chronic disorders also affect other family members, you may need to seek family counseling. Trained family counselors will help you deal with the issues to do with dynamics.
How to Get Things Done with Chronic Pain
How can you be productive even though you are having chronic back pain? Many people just sit back and nurse their pain while things go wrong. Despite the pain, you can make sure you get things done. Here are some of the ways to stay productive:
- Make timely plans for your activities: Consider the time you have to do something and plan for it. Make a to-do list so that you know what to do at what time. Slot activities at a time you know you are most productive.
- Avoid working too long on a single task: When there is a job to complete, do not take too much with it. Instead, you can break a large task into small parts that are achieved with minimal effort and in short time.
- Take frequent breaks: If you have something to do, take frequent breaks and stretch. When you return, you will have consolidated some energy to get things done.
- Relax and unwind: When you have completed your tasks for the day, sit back, relax and unwind. You will be resting your back so that you wake another day to carry out that day’s task.
About the Author: Jessica Kelley is the founder of CareHappiness.com. She and her editor work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic information. Her goal is to bring up the “healthy attitude” among people in the world. On CareHappiness.com you will find high-quality health information, fitness tips, diet charts and answer to all your health queries.
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