If you experience chronic pain, spring can be a scary time. People are more active and taking advantage of the warmer weather.
But there are things you can do to relieve chronic pain and help you enjoy spring without your pain holding you back. While these tips are not all-encompassing, they can provide some temporary relief and make it possible to enjoy those spring activities.
Chronic pain is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as:
different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap…but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of past injury or evidence of body damage.
Chronic pain is an encompassing term that can be caused by a variety of illnesses and reasons, including:
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Back pain
- Migraines and headaches
- Joint pain
- Nerve pain
Again, this list barely scratches the surface of what could be causing chronic pain.
These different causes of chronic pain lead to different ways to treat and manage chronic pain. Depending on the type and origin of pain, these treatments may not always provide relief. Some common treatments include:
- Brain stimulation or local electrical stimulation
Ultimately, it’s important to find what treatments provide your relief — temporary or long-term. These different tips could help you find some relief so you can take time and enjoy spring.
This spring, there are some things you can try to provide temporary relief from your chronic pain.
This is especially important if your pain is related to your musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, and nerves) or if you sit at a desk job all day. You want to make sure that your muscles aren’t sitting stagnant all day — less movement means they become tight because their full range of motion is not being used.
Take just five minutes to stretch at least three times a day. If you have certain areas on your body that you want to target, use a foam roller or massage blocks and balls to add another component to your stretches. Foam rolling gives your body a self-massage that will help loosen tight muscles. Other the other hand, massage block and balls will help you target deep tissues, like your lower back muscles.
If stretching exacerbates your chronic pain or provides you no relief, talk to your physician about different types of stretches you could try.
Don’t let your chronic pain keep you from exercising — just make sure you modify your routine to fit your strengths. If you don’t exercise regularly, start with low-impact activities like walking, cycling, yoga, or swimming.
For added benefits, you can also incorporate core and back exercises like planks and leg lifts. Just make sure you’re not making your pain worse!
No Sudden Movements
Since you’re already experiencing chronic pain, go slow. Sudden movements could result in sore or strained muscles.
When you’re enjoying your outside activities this spring, take it slow and steady to get the most out of your experience.
Hot and Cold Compress
Ice works to numb pain and reduce blood flow to that area, making it great for preventing inflammation and swelling. For a new injury, ice is a great option. Alternatively, heat stimulates blood flow, helping the injured area heal. Heat therapy is a better option if it’s been a few days since the injury occurred.
Chronic pain is ongoing, so you’ll want to alternate between heat and ice to get the effects of both hot and cold. If one or the other provides the best relief, stick to that therapy.
Take A Break
Always listen to your body! Get out there and enjoy the warmer weather, but also listen for when your body needs a break.
If you’re doing an activity that is not part of your daily routine, take breaks every 20–30 minutes to give your body some time to rest and recover. Hydrating during those breaks will also help your muscle recover.
Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine
Give some of these different types a try and see if you can find enough relief to enjoy some outdoor activities this spring.
Chronic pain still holding you back this spring? Let Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine in Newport help you find some more solutions. Contact us today to learn more about our team of osteopathic physicians.