As we get older, we become more fragile, making us more prone to a consistent feeling of pain or discomfort across different parts of our bodies. Chronic pain can take many forms, from joint to neuropathic, musculoskeletal to osteoarthritic pain. It would be easy to give up and embrace a sedentary lifestyle, staying inside and doing nothing to avoid the risk of additional pain and suffering. Because daily activities can become a challenge, many seniors take this route and end up deteriorating quickly on physical, mental and emotional levels.
Even though there’s no cure for chronic pain, there are steps that we can take to alleviate some of the pain, slow the aging process, and prevent any issues from escalating. Here are a few basic ways that anyone can easily deal with the chronic pain in their lives:
STEP ONE: Maintain an Active Lifestyle
Did you know that our bodies need to stay in motion to stay fit? The more sedentary we are, the worse chronic pain gets! As we get less and less active, simple actions like standing up and walking become more difficult. Don’t let yourself get to this point – even if you’re making a point to get up and walk around the house every hour, or taking a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor.
STEP TWO: Take the Right Medication
Talk to your physician about your chronic pain. While not all of it is treatable, a simple anti-inflammatory or even just some aspirin can make a huge difference in your pain levels. Be careful if your physician offers something stronger, though – there are opiates that can alleviate all of your pain but have many side effects including addiction. It’s important to stay educated with sources beyond your doctor to make the intelligent choice for your lifestyle and your needs.
STEP THREE: Try TENS Therapy
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and if your chronic pain is muscular in nature, this solution may be exactly what you need. With your own personal TENS unit, you can attach electrodes to the source of the pain, and a low voltage current passes through the muscle, stimulating your nerves and reducing your pain. Even better, with no side effects, TENS therapy is a win-win situation.
STEP FOUR: Visit a Chiropractor or Massage Therapist
A trained massage therapist may be able to relieve tension in your muscles, and a licensed chiropractor can manually reposition bones after they’ve shifted, helping to alleviate the joint pain that occurs from inflammation and muscle tension. Usually, regular appointments are required to continue to attack the source of the pain, but it can provide much needed solace from your chronic pain.
STEP FIVE: Reduce Stress Levels
Stress causes increased blood pressure, muscle tension and acidic build-up throughout our musculature. If you suffer from chronic pain, increased stress will only serve to increase the pain, and this can cause additional stress, which becomes a vicious cycle. Working on stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, hot showers, or even spending time quietly soaking up the sunlight can serve as a way to break the cycle and reduce your stress levels.
Once you’ve reduced your chronic pain, you might still find it hard to perform some activities around the house. With reduced dexterity and joint pain, household chores can prove to be too difficult. We suggest contacting Compassionate Care to find out more about our in-home care services. From caretaking to companionship, managing medication to light housekeeping and meal prep, we can help you manage your chronic pain at home and keep you happy and healthy.