‘Pain’ is a general term we use for the all the aches we experience from time to time, hardly knowing that it is heterogeneous in nature. Depending on the mildness, sharpness, severity or dullness, the pain can be classified into Acute, Chronic, Bone, Breakthrough, Nerve, Soft tissue or Referred pain, to name a few. But, do you know what causes such chronic aches all over your body?
Pain is always an alert that something, somewhere is wrong with your body? When a pain overstays, say more than a month or a year, it falls under the category of Chronic Pain. Apart from physical and social factors, the major reason behind a person suffering from chronic pain is emotional i.e Stress. (Source 1: A stress survey conducted by Dr. Sathya Guruprasad and Dr. Ramkrishnan across the 8 major cities of India shows that 48% of people are having chronic pain due to high stress level in them.)
Stress about health, job, finance, marriage etc. can take a toll on our body increasing the levels of stress hormones due to which our muscles remain in a nearly constant state of tension, which we ignore as a random physical pain. So, to bring those stress levels down, apart from oral medications, there are various other natural alternative treatments to manage stress which will further help you get rid of the chronic pain. Few of them are as described below:
Practice Mindful Meditation:
Chronic pain and meditation? You may ask what is the connection? Have you ever thought of a meditation treating your pain? Negative feelings like depression, anxiety, stress, and anger can increase the body’s sensitivity to pain and when the stress takes control, the pain turns chronic. Mindful meditation puts you in a position of control where you learn to cope up with all these atrocities of pain. Meditation has analgesic effects which changes your entire perception about pain helping you to relax. So right away set aside 5-10 minutes daily to relieve your stress and get relief from the chronic pain. Being active, getting more restful sleep, finding a balance between work and home, listening to music, getting massages etc are the other simple techniques that can distract yourself from stress and help live a pain-free life.
Adopt a regular exercise routine:
When you exercise daily, a natural brain chemical called endorphin is released from your body which triggers the positive feeling and changes your entire perception about pain. Exercise not only keeps a check on your weight but also helps in strengthening the muscles which prevent re-injury and further pain. Consult your doctor and get an exercise routine best suitable for your body.
Avoid smoking and drinking:
Excessive drinking and smoking are the after effects of stress and can worsen the intensity of chronic pain. These bad habits can aggravate the pain and make you feel restless, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Set goals and make the decision to gradually cut down on smoking and drinking to improve the quality of your life.
Adopt home-based therapies:
Acupuncture, Electrotherapy, Biofeedback etc are some of the most effective home-based therapies which do not involve medications. These non-invasive and gentle therapies can help alleviate chronic pain conditions without leaving any kind of side-effects. While acupuncture use sharp, thin needles to adjust and alter the body’s energy flow into healthier patterns, electrotherapy make use of electrical devices to address the chronic pain conditions resulting from stress, while Biofeedback is another outstanding way to control the chronic pain which keeps a regular check on your pulse, digestion, muscle tension and body temperature which are responsible for the chronic physical symptoms due to anxiety, restlessness, depression, migraines, hypertensions and more.
Join a support group:
A lot many people are going through chronic pain conditions due to stress. Connecting to these people with a similar experience can help you cope with depression. Join a support group for chronic pain and get help from the people who feel the same as you do. This can make you feel less alone and improve your attitude towards life.