Guest Post by Ms. Waters from Hyper-Tidy.com [Bio Found at Bottom]
When you received your diagnosis of chronic pain, you probably wondered how your life would change. That’s entirely normal, as this diagnosis can be serious. Thankfully, there are ways you can reduce your pain and increase your tolerance so you can maintain your quality of life.
But you have to be careful about prescription painkillers, as they have a dark side.
Problems With Painkillers
Many people who are diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, such as caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), are prescribed painkillers. However, there are problems with these drugs. As DrugRehab.org shows, more people are abusing(1) prescription drugs and becoming addicted. Some signs of painkiller addiction include losing interest in things they once loved, having erratic behavior or mood swings, an unexplained need for more money, and missing work or school.
Then what can you do if you are prescribed medication to help manage your pain? Harvard Medical School lists several tips for reducing your risk of abusing painkillers(2). First, always take any medicine as prescribed and never take more to get through tough days. Keep communicating with your doctor about how this medicine is working for you. Lastly, pay attention to yourself. If you see any signs of addiction, contact your physician immediately.
Changes To Make At Home
Even though painkillers can help you manage your chronic pain, there are other ways to improve your quality of life. One of those is to make some changes to your home and, if possible, your work.
Health.com lists several products(3) for the work and home that can help. If moving from sitting to standing causes a pain flare-up, you could use devices that raise your chair’s seat so it’s easier to use. You can even add a raiser to toilet seats to reduce pain when sitting there. Grip bars can be installed in your bathtub to make getting in and out easier and safer.
Specially designed kitchen tools like knives and jar openers can make it less painful to hold and use, while tools that extend your reach can help you get items on high shelves without stretching and triggering your pain.
A Healthier Lifestyle For Chronic Pain
Your home is not the only thing you can change to help manage your pain. There are some changes you can make to your lifestyle to help live better.
First, eating better is always a good idea, but a specific anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the impact of your chronic pain. The Cleveland Clinic explains that you should limit your consumption(4) of simple carbohydrates, sugar, red meat, and dairy. Instead, focus on fish, turkey, and colorful vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and bell peppers.
Secondly, exercise and meditation can also reduce your need for painkillers and improve your lifestyle. Stretching(5), weight training, and low-impact cardio exercises like an elliptical trainer can both improve your overall well-being and lessen your chronic pain. Be sure to check with your physician before starting an exercise program. And while meditation(6) will not eliminate pain, it can help you cope with your condition while making it easier for you to live with the pain you have.
Don’t Let Pain Ruin Your Days
Although living with chronic pain is not always easy, you can still enjoy your life with some adjustments. Be careful about prescription painkillers, make a few modifications at home and work, and maintain your physical health through diet, exercise, and meditation. All of this can help you live the life you deserve.
Ms. Waters is a mother of four boys, and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.
1 DrugRehab.org, The 45 Warning Signs of Abuse
2 Armand, Dr. Wynne; Harvard Health Publishing, The problem with prescription painkillers, Oct. 2015
3 Harding, Ann; Lee, Min-Ja; Health.com, 14 Household Tools for People in Pain; April 2011
4 Cleveland Clinic; How an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Relieve Pain as You Age; Nov. 2015
5 ExerciseRight.com.au; Chronic Pain and Exercise
6 Penman, Dr. Danny, Psychology Today; Can Mindfulness Meditation Really Reduce Pain and Suffering?; Jan. 2015