How to Change Your Life to Change Your Pain

By: Jackie Waters of




Many chronic pain sufferers search high and low for remedies for their chronic pain. Some take painkillers, some try to ignore it, and some try every home remedy they can find. The truth is, some people never find relief from their pain because they don’t take the time to change their lives in ways that benefit their health and minimize their pain. Our guide to changing your pain by changing your life will help.


Start Losing Weight


If you carry around extra weight, you are exacerbating your pain because even a few extra pounds put pressure on joints. People who have knee, hip, and feet pain often find relief if they lose weight; as do people who have lower back pain. Because a reduction in weight relieves the stress on the joints, weight loss also prevents further damage to joints and improves mobility. This helps the body work better.


Start Exercising


People with chronic pain who lose weight also find that it is easier to exercise and move. Exercising is one of the more effective ways to combat chronic pain because it reduces fatigue, strengthens your musculoskeletal system, and helps you sleep better. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers, and improves your mood. Studies show that excessive stress and depression play a role in chronic pain, and exercise relieves stress and helps people combat depression. This makes exercise an answer to nearly any ailment.


For people who have difficulty exercising because of chronic pain, there are a few workouts that are recommended because of their low impact. Walking is one exercise that nearly anyone can do at their own pace. The more you walk, the easier it becomes. Walking delivers oxygen and nutrition to the muscles to make them healthy, boost your energy, and reduce stiffness and pain. Other exercises that are good for people with pain include biking, swimming, water aerobics, and using an elliptical machine.


Start Eating Foods Shown to Combat Inflammation


Many people who suffer from chronic pain do so because of inflammation. There are several healthy foods that fight inflammation and promote weight loss. In fact, studies show that the right foods can minimize pain via reduced inflammation. These inflammation-fighting foods include tomatoes; olive oil; green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale; almonds; walnuts; fatty fish such as salmon and tuna; and fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.


On the other hand, you should avoid foods that promote inflammation: white bread and pastries containing refined carbohydrates; fried foods such as French fries; soda and other sugary sweet drinks; red meat such as burgers and steaks; processed meats such as hot dogs and sausages; and margarine, shortening, and lard.


Start Reducing Your Stress Level


Chronic stress leads to chronic pain, and stressors like depression, anxiety, trauma, sleep problems, financial issues, job loss, and others often are more manageable than the pain itself. That’s why many health care professionals help patients treat the underlying causes of their chronic pain, namely stress, to help minimize their pain.


If you choose to reduce your stress level to manage your chronic pain, start by making a stress-free environment at home. Many people living with chronic pain spend the majority of their time at home, so it is helpful to make your home as relaxing as possible to minimize your pain. You may declutter your home, add houseplants, and hang pictures of nature or your favorite places to reduce your stress at home. You also may want to use an essential oil diffuser with scents like lavender and lemon because aromatherapy is know to reduce stress hormone levels and improve people’s moods.


Another way to reduce your stress level is to get creative. Some people find that writing in a journal, writing poetry, playing music, drawing, or painting calms them and helps them relax. Any creative activity that distracts you and brings you joy has the potential to reduce your stress and minimize your pain.


There are changes you can make to your lifestyle to minimize your pain. Finding the right combination of weight loss, exercise, healthy foods, and stress reduction can work wonders for your chronic pain.


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