Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Coping with Chronic Pain, Part 1


Chronic pain. It exists in many forms. Arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and the list goes on. Roughly one in every three people in North America suffer.

Do you? I do.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about four years ago. I have posted about it a few times, most notably here. It has been a long process and I am currently seeking a second opinion because I feel I might have something in addition to/instead of fibro. (I will keep you posted.)

So why am I talking about it today?

I have learned a few things over the years about managing pain and I thought it might be helpful to share them.

In part 1, I will talk about exercise and diet. (Note: Everyone is different and some of these treatments may not be right for you. Talk with your doctor or health practitioner just to be sure).

This is always a tricky one when you suffer with pain. If you do too much, you may end up sore for days, but if you don't move at all, you run the same risk. Start off slowly by devoting 15 minutes a day of light activity (such as walking) and gradually increase the time and intensity of your exercises week to week. I have found yoga to be a great way to stretch out my muscles and relax my mind.

Some studies have shown that dairy and gluten are linked to chronic pain, and may people have found much relief from removing them from their diet. I tried this, but it didn't make a difference for me. I found that eating a clean diet of whole grain, fruits, vegetables and avoiding sugar works best for me.

Natural Supplements
There are many supplements that can be beneficial in treating chronic pain. There are many great brands out there, so do your homework before you invest. The ones that I have found most helpful with my condition are:
  • Multivitamins
  • Omega 3
  • MSM
  • Relora
  • Probiotics
Stay tuned for Part 2...

What diet and exercise changes have worked for you? Please share your stories!

Stay Healthy,

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