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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING--JACKIE WATERS ON DEALING WITH CHRONIC PAIN

Photo Credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay
Jackie Waters returns today with suggestions on how to deal with chronic pain.

Enjoy Life Again and Ease Chronic Pain with Simple Lifestyle Changes
By Jackie Waters

If you suffer from chronic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Chronic pain causes physical, mental, and emotional difficulties. You often feel frustrated and angry, and at times you may feel hopeless and as though you’ve lost control of your body and life. However, simple lifestyle changes can help ease chronic pain and make leading an enjoyable life a real possibility.

Keeping a Tidy Home
Deep cleaning your home can be physically exhausting and difficult for chronic pain suffers. Hiring someone to tackle the deep cleaning tasks can be helpful. They can drop by once a week, bimonthly, or once a month to help. In between deep cleans, you can follow a few simple tips to keep your home tidy and help you go longer between deep cleans.

Never leave a room without making it better than how you found it. Even just taking an item that doesn’t belong in that room and putting it where it belongs can make a difference. Try to incorporate five-minute cleaning breaks into your day. Wash a few dishes or run a load of laundry in those five minutes. Keeping on top of the dishes is helpful. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher immediately, and run it as soon as it’s full. Also, unload when it’s done.

Likewise, rather than letting laundry pile up for “laundry day,” wash a load of laundry as soon as you have a full load. Laundry isn’t really a difficult task, but letting it pile up and having to do six loads in a day makes it overwhelming. Wipe the toilet and bathroom sink down at least once a day for another five-minute task that will make a big difference. Keep a bottle of cleaner or a container of cleaning wipes in your bathroom so you can easily do a quick wipedown during a bathroom break.

Be tenacious about getting rid of stuff or not allowing it in the house to begin with to help control the clutter in your home. Having too much “stuff” contributes to a messy house. Once a month, go through your house and fill a bag to donate to charity. Also, don’t let papers pile up; when you check your mail or empty your kids’ backpacks, immediately recycle the unimportant stuff and file the important papers and bills. Try to have several areas that you keep consistently clean and free of clutter. Most people develop clutter on their dining room tables, the kitchen counters, and the bathrooms. Find your clutter areas, and work to keep them clean.

Treating Your Body Well
Exercise can be difficult if you suffer from chronic pain, but you don’t have to perform strenuous exercise to get the benefits of working out. For example, walking and swimming are low impact and have significant health benefits. Yoga is also great exercise, especially for people with chronic pain.

Yoga gently stretches and strengthens muscle and joints, helping to alleviate chronic pain. It builds endurance and balance, and also helps lower stress levels. Stress makes chronic pain worse, regardless of the original cause of the pain, because it makes the body tense and nervous. Some yoga moves can be intense, so stick with positions that fall into your personal range of comfort and ability. “The breathing component of yoga might be just as helpful to ease chronic pain as the movement and stretching,” suggests Health.com.

Diet is equally as important as exercise. Experts say chronic pain sufferers can benefit immensely from a diet change that focuses on consuming mostly vegetables. “Patients who follow strict vegan or Mediterranean diets have seen a complete turnaround in their pain symptoms,” says the Cleveland Clinic. Whether you follow these diets strictly or use them as inspiration to eat healthier, it can make a dramatic difference.

Integrating regular exercise, controlling stress, and eating healthy foods all work together to reduce inflammation and ease chronic pain, while minimizing the need to take medications, which can become addictive. Maintaining a clean home can help control stress and even provides a little exercise. Likewise, yoga and other low-impact exercises can provide a workout while lowering stress. These simple modifications can make life easier and help alleviate chronic pain so you can get back to enjoying life with less pain.

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