Living With Chronic Pain – Eleven ways to make it better

Meditation can help you relax

Being able to consciously relax is a key ingredient to living with the effects of chronic pain. Meditation can help your body relax. Ease the tension and tightness from your muscles periodically by giving them a peaceful message to relax.

There are many ways to meditate. The soothing effect of repetition is at the center of most forms of meditation. Focusing on the breath, staring at a candle, or repeating a word or phrase – a mantra –helps the body to relax. You can learn meditation on your own, but it might help to get some instruction.

Deep breathing can also help you relax

Deep breathing is also an effective relaxation technique. Go someplace quiet, assume a comfortable body position, and take a few moments to dismiss distracting thoughts. Next, feel the spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot,filling your belly with air. Let the air fill you from the bottom up, then release it,like deflating a balloon.

Reduce stress

Stress intensifies chronic pain. Negative emotions like fear, sadness, anxiety, and anger can increase your sensitivity to pain. By taking control of stress, you may gain some significant relief from chronic pain.

Several techniques can be used to lower stress and enhance relaxation. Listening to soothing, calming music can elevate your mood and make living with chronic pain easier. Specially designed relaxation CDs exist just for this purpose. Guided imagery is also a form of mental relaxation that can help you feel more at peace. It involves generating calming images in your mind. Progressive muscle relaxation is yet another technique to enhance relaxation.


The natural endorphins from exercise can help with pain relief. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that help improve your mood while simultaneously blocking pain signals. Not only that, exercise has yet another pain-reducing effect. By strengthening muscles, you can help prevent re-injury and more pain. In addition, exercise can help reduce your weight, risk of heart disease, and bring blood sugar levels under control, which is especially important if you have diabetes.

See a medical specialist

Ask your doctor for an exercise routine that is right for you. If you have certain health conditions, like diabetic neuropathy, you will need to be careful about the types of activities you engage in.

Dr. Melepura, a New York City sport injury specialist with board certification in Pain Management recommends an individualized approach. For medical pain management, one size does not fit all.

Get a good night’s sleep

Avoid alcohol, which can worsen sleep problems.Pain makes it hard to sleep and alcohol can make insomnia even worse. If you’re living with chronic pain, you should drink less or no alcohol at all.

Join a support group

Being with people who have chronic pain just like you do and understand what you’re going through, makes you feel less alone. You will also benefit from their knowledge and experience in coping with the pain.

See a shrink

Consider seeing a mental health professional. Depression often accompanies chronic pain. Getting counseling can help you deal with life better and avoid negative thoughts that make pain worse.

Don’t smoke

Smoking can make your painful circulation problems worse and increase risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Get a massage

Massage reduces stress and relieves tension.

Eat a healthy diet

A well-balanced diet is important for many reasons. It aids your digestive processes, reduces the risk of heart disease, keeps your weight under control,and improves insulin and blood sugar control.