If you’ve been living with chronic pain, and you’re sick of having to rely on medication to manage it, you’ll be glad to know that you probably have more options than you think for controlling it. There are plenty of alternative therapies that have been proven to help reduce pain, including medical acupuncture and chiropractic care. There are also lifestyle changes you can make that can help to reduce your pain, including:

#1. Follow a healthy diet.

There are certain foods that cause inflammation in the body. When you eat these kinds of foods when you’re already in chronic pain, it will only exacerbate the problem. Reducing or eliminating inflammatory foods — like dairy, sugar, refined flour, vegetable oil and artificial sweeteners — from your diet may help to reduce your pain. Some foods can even reduce inflammation in the body, and they include leafy green vegetables, beets, pineapple, celery and more.

#2. Practice good sleep hygiene.

When you’re already in pain and you can’t get to sleep at night, it’s like adding insult to injury. Not only are sleep problems frustrating; though, they can actually increase your pain. Unfortunately, there’s no magic switch you can hit to improve your sleep quality, but you can take steps to improve it by practicing good sleep hygiene, like by keeping your room cooler, avoiding the blue light from screens before you go to bed and sticking to a regular sleep schedule.

#3. Get moving more often.

Exercising is often the last thing you want to do when you’re in pain, but it plays a key role in reducing pain. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Plus, exercising helps to promote weight loss, which could take some of the pressure off of painful joints or bones. You don’t have to start hitting the gym heavily every day; a daily walk or short yoga practice should be enough movement to help you find some level of relief.

#4. Make it a point to drink more water.

Proper hydration is an essential part of overall health, and believe it or not, it’s also an important part of pain management. When you’re dehydrated, it can worsen chronic pain, or even make you feel worse by adding other symptoms, like headaches. When you’re properly hydrated, it also helps to keep the joints lubricated, the organs functioning smoothly and helps to promote intestinal health.

#5. Learn to manage your stress.

Chronic pain isn’t just physical; it’s also mental. When you’re under stress, it has a way of making chronic pain even more painful. Learning how to manage stress in a healthful way can help to improve your overall well-being, and that includes chronic pain.

We hope that these lifestyle changes will help you find some relief from your chronic pain. But, for all of those times when you need a little extra help, turn to the professionals at Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation and Pain Center. We take an integrative approach to pain management, combining conventional medicine with proven alternative therapies to provides you with the best results. Schedule your appointment today.