Declare Your Independence from Chronic Pain
Our country recently celebrated Independence Day. Freedom to live our lives the way we choose is part of the American dream. But for those living with a chronic disease – and according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), almost half of all adults have a chronic disease or condition – freeing themselves from their situation may seem all but impossible. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, and even obesity are just some of the conditions people live with that keep them from living life to its fullest.
But there is help for those living with such a burden. Here are some tips to help mitigate the challenges of living with chronic pain or discomfort.
The more you know about your condition or illness, the better equipped you’ll be to understand how to mitigate its symptoms. Talk to your doctor and get clear information on treatment options and possible medications that may help.
Remain – or become – physically active
Many people with a chronic condition can’t perform strenuous exercise. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be physically active. One exercise that continues to gain popularity is tai chi. It’s a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, can be performed anywhere, and requires no expensive equipment. And almost everyone can participate – there are even tai chi routines for wheelchair users. And finally, it has many health benefits, including pain reduction. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people living with fibromyalgia who participated in tai chi classes twice a week for 12 weeks reported less pain than the control group, who participated in stretching sessions and wellness education twice a week.
Mindful meditation has been shown to help in pain reduction and even reducing the risk of death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients. For many people, meditation produces a trance-like state, which allows your body to relax, a condition highly conducive to cell regeneration, blood flow and heart rate. This relaxed state allows the blood to do its work, cleansing the body of pathogens, which can be responsible for many chronic conditions.
Put yourself first
Many people with spouses and/or children often put their needs above their own. But for people suffering from a chronic condition, it’s important to take care of yourself first. A flight attendant will instruct you to put your mask on before assisting others. The same advice applies here. Take care of yourself so you will be better able to participate in the lives of your family.
Be willing to share your feelings with others
Let others know what frustrations, fears and concerns you’re facing. First, bottling up your emotions can cause further health consequences, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester. Second, sharing your feelings with family and friends will allow them the opportunity to provide meaningful assistance.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean you ignore the challenges you’re facing – it simply means you approach those challenges in a more productive and positive way. For instance, if you get a devastating diagnosis, start planning now for ways that can provide a better outlook down the road. Taking an active part in creating a better future will prove more beneficial than giving up and accepting a life that is less than optimal. A study by the American Heart Association showed that heart patients with positive attitudes tended to live longer.
Get help from a home health professional
A home health professional from Family Home Health can assist you in managing your chronic conditions and maintaining and improving your quality of life through outcome-focused care, technology and education. Whatever challenge you’re facing, the professionals at Family Home Health can help you lead a more fulfilling life.