5 New Year’s Resolutions for Chronic Pain

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Chronic Pain

Published: December 20, 2019

It’s easy to feel powerless when you’re living with a condition or illness that causes chronic pain. But studies show that lifestyle changes can make a significant impact in reducing symptoms for people living with chronic pain and chronic illnesses. That’s why our Texas pain specialists at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez in San Antonio have created a list of suggested New Year’s resolutions for chronic pain sufferers for you to consider implementing in 2020. So if you’re living with chronic pain or chronic pain syndrome and are wondering “What lifestyle changes will help my chronic pain symptoms?” or “How do I find the best chronic pain management doctors near me?” then read on to learn more from our experts.

1. Start Exercising More

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. That’s because exercise causes the body to release chemicals called endorphins, which interact with receptors in the brain and reduce your perception of pain symptoms. That’s why endorphins are often referred to as the body’s natural painkillers.

Additionally, regular exercise increases strength, boosts mood, and improves energy levels—all of which can reduce symptoms of chronic pain. A doctor or physical therapist familiar with your chronic pain condition can help you develop an exercise regimen that works for you and can provide guidance on which exercises will safely target the muscle groups that you need to strengthen. They can also recommend low-impact aerobic exercises—such as swimming or using the elliptical machine—if you have injuries that prevent you from running or participating in high-impact activities.

2. Reduce Your Stress

It’s no secret that stress worsens chronic pain symptoms. Stress worsens pain (and vice versa), and often results in involuntary bodily responses—like tightened muscles and gritted teeth—that worsen chronic pain. So why not set a resolution to work on reducing your stress level?

Meditation, relaxation exercises, therapy, and practicing self care are all examples of practical ways to lower your stress level. Even something as simple as writing down your stress triggers and making plans to avoid the ones within your control can produce dramatic results.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs—it’s also bad for your chronic pain syndrome. Studies have found that smokers experience higher rates of back pain symptoms than non-smokers. In fact, smokers are three times more likely to endure lower back pain. This is because nicotine reduces blood flow to spinal discs, making them more susceptible to ruptures and cracks.

Other studies have found that smoking can aggravate joint pain and abdominal pain, and may even increase pain sensitivity in general. That’s why quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your chronic pain symptoms.

4. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Sleep helps the body to recover and promotes healing, and most people are aware of the importance of getting enough sleep. But it’s not just the amount of sleep that matters—sleep quality is important as well. Practicing good sleep hygiene—or practices that promote restful, quality sleep—can help lessen symptoms of fatigue during the day.

Good sleep hygiene practices include:

  • Going to bed and waking at the same time every day
  • Keeping the room temperature cool at night
  • Keeping TVs, laptops, and smartphones out of the bedroom
  • Avoiding caffeine, large meals, and alcohol before bedtime
  • Using blackout curtains
  • Avoiding daytime naps or limiting them to 30 minutes

5. Seek Treatment From a Qualified Pain Management Doctor

If you’re wondering, “How do I find the best chronic pain management doctors near me in San Antonio?” then look no further than the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez. Our Texas pain specialists have helped thousands of people living with chronic pain, and we develop customized treatment plans for each and every patient based on their unique needs.

To schedule an appointment with one of our qualified and compassionate physicians, fill out our online patient forms or give us a call today. Don’t wait—let us help you get your pain symptoms under control so you can start living your best life as soon as possible.

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