Living with a chronic pain condition can be grueling at times. Some days you feel like you have no control over your own body, and other days the simplest of tasks can seem unmanageable. Your joints ache, your muscles feel seized, and ‘brain fog‘ can affect your memory and ability to think or even talk.
Chronic pain can turn your life on its head but if you know how to manage it and the things to avoid, it may make the pain more bearable. Here are 3 things that can help to alleviate the symptoms of a chronic pain condition.
Medical marijuana is now legal in many countries across the world and many states throughout the U.S. It is an increasingly popular alternative to more traditional forms of pain medication such as opioids. If your pain is particularly bad and it’s something you have considered trying, it might be worth discussing with your doctor. There are various strains of marijuana available, so it’s a good idea to do some research first. You will need rolling papers and, if you don’t want to smoke it straight, some form of tobacco substitute. It’s also worth investing in a rolling machine which will provide consistency and make the rolling process far easier. Cheap rollers will break so the ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ rule applies here.
Marijuana has different effects on everyone, but many chronic pain sufferers have said that it alleviates muscle tension and allows them to move around far more freely than they previously could.
Relax and destress
Stress can make your muscles tighten and thus make chronic pain symptoms a lot worse, so it’s important to try and avoid stressful situations whenever possible and learn how to relax.
Research suggests that meditation can lower your blood pressure and heart rate and so it’s a great way to relax, restore some spiritual balance, and ease stress levels. All you need to do is find a quiet and comfortable spot to sit or lie down in and relax. Many people like to listen to soothing music or focus on the rhythm of their breathing to help calm them. Over time you will find the methods that work best for you, and meditation will become part of your daily or weekly routine.
Whilst everyone reacts differently to alcohol, many chronic pain sufferers (in particular those diagnosed with fibromyalgia) have stated that their pain levels increase drastically during or after alcohol consumption. It is not known exactly why this happens but could be due to alcohol promoting inflammation in the body. Alcohol is also known to affect sleep patterns, which could be another cause.
If you feel your pain worsening in any way after a glass of wine or a few alcoholic drinks, it might be worthwhile cutting it out entirely. Whilst having a drink and socializing now and again is nice, it might not be worth the pain you may experience the next day.