Managing chronic and acute pain can be a challenge for the millions of Americans who suffer from the condition. September is National Pain Awareness Month, which is a great time for those living with pain to ensure that they are taking all the right steps to manage it the best way possible.
Dr. Dana Zalkind is Medical Director for the Pain Management Program at NEBH. This center for musculoskeletal pain focuses on restoration of function, improvement in quality of pain in daily living, emotional health for patients as well as empowering patients when making decisions about their health. Dr. Zalkind has the following suggestions for anyone dealing with chronic or acute pain.
Try to Reduce Stress
Stress can intensify pain, so it is important you do your best to try to relax. There are a number of techniques that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, like deep breathing, meditation, or listening to calming music. Try a few different methods and find out what works best for you.
Exercise and Keep Active
Aerobic activity, gentle stretching, yoga or even starting a physical therapy program is a great method to manage pain and improve mental health. If you are unsure what you can do, ask your doctor for some suggestions.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a depressant and can thus intensify pain. Try to limit your alcohol consumption.
Find time for Yourself
Enjoy the activities that you can easily participate in. Try to spend time with individuals who are supportive and understanding of your medical condition.