If you’ve found that pain medications aren’t working for your chronic pain, maybe it’s time to switch to an alternative pain relief method. We explain how changing your diet and lifestyle can impact your chronic pain.
Often, the first line of treatment for chronic (long-lasting) pain is over-the-counter medicines, steroid injections, and opioid pain medications. Many times this can cause unwanted side effects and be ineffective at reducing your pain, not to mention it can put you at risk for addiction to pain meds. Many factors can contribute to chronic pain, like stress, increased inflammation, or a lack of sleep. No matter what it is, changing your diet and lifestyle can provide significant improvement in your chronic pain. Ashley Johnson, DO, and the rest of our team at Colorado Recovery Solutions offer some tips on changes you can make to help you regain your health and quality of life.
How to change your diet
Chronic inflammation often causes chronic pain, and studies have shown that your diet can contribute to increased inflammation in your body. But if your diet can increase chronic pain, that means, on the flip side, it can also decrease it. Foods that lower inflammation in your body include whole grains, proteins like fish and poultry, fruits, and vegetables. Also, try to cut out foods that increase inflammation, like highly processed foods and foods high in sugar.
Other lifestyle changes to make
Other things you can do in your life to reduce chronic pain include managing stress, getting more sleep, and exercising regularly. When you’re anxious or worried, your body releases stress hormones, which result in muscle tension. This tension means less blood flow and oxygen to your body, which develops into chronic pain. While you can’t always avoid stress, you can learn to manage it. You can try meditation, therapy, or ketamine to manage worry and anxiety.
Each night, while you sleep, your body heals. If you don’t get enough sleep, not only does your body not have the healing time it needs, but it also causes your body to release more stress hormones, leading to more pain. Establish a regular sleeping routine and sleep at least seven hours each night for pain reduction.
If you don’t move your body because you’re in pain, it can cause you to lose muscle tone and strength, exacerbating your pain. Exercise is critical for pain recovery. Physical activity releases endorphins that decrease pain and improve your mood.
If you’d like to learn more about reducing your chronic pain through diet and lifestyle changes, contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or use our online scheduler to book an appointment with us today.