Chronic pain patients make regular visits to their doctors for pain management opportunities. While the patients won’t find a cure, the right strategies improve the patient’s quality of life and increase mobility.
The exact medical condition the patient has defines the best treatments and techniques for addressing chronic pain.
However, there are several alternatives that are helpful, too. Persistent pain sufferers review tips for managing chronic musculoskeletal pain.
1. Physiotherapy and Holistic Medicine
Adding physiotherapy and holistic medicine to the pain management plan helps patients avoid surgery. Holistic medicine offers ways to treat muscle, bone, and joint pain. Massage therapy is offered through holistic doctors for relaxing the muscles and increasing the production of feel-good hormones in the body. Keeping the muscles relaxed helps patients lower the frequency of chronic pain and discomfort. Doctors provide different types of massage therapy for addressing varying musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis. The most popular choices are Swedish and deep tissue massage.
Acupuncture is used to stimulate pain receptors and increase serotonin in the body. Practitioners study different pressure points in the body and learn what combination addresses each type of bone or muscle injury. The frequency of the treatments depends on how often the patient experiences pain.
Spinal manipulation is often used to address pressure in the back or neck due to chronic diseases or injuries. The adjustments offer lasting pain management by forcing the bones into a better position and relieve pressure. Too often the pressure is the source of chronic pain for back and neck pain sufferers.
Physiotherapy involves physical therapy and exercises. Doctors create a full care plan for the patient according to the patient’s ailment or injury. Movement patterns are used to correct injuries and increase mobility for the patient. Practitioners complete testing to evaluate the patient’s range of motion and endurance. Electrical nerve stimulation is a technique used in physiotherapy that uses an electrical current to block out pain signals and achieve longer lasting pain management. Doctors who practice physiotherapy provide medical equipment and applications that increase pain relief.
To learn more about physiotherapy, patients can learn more about Bodyworks Edinburgh now.
2. Stay Hydrated Every Day
Staying hydrated every day helps patients avoid musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. The intervertebral discs in the back protect the vertebrae from injury and act as a cushion between the spinal vertebrae. The discs are composed of water and require patients to continue drinking adequate amounts of water to function properly. Since the discs are made up of mostly water, dehydration leads to back and neck pain. Patients with existing musculoskeletal diseases are advised by their doctors to drink eight-8 ounce bottles of water every day.
Dehydration affects the organs and often leads to sudden muscle pain. When exercising, patients drink water or electrolytes to prevent dehydration. When water levels are low, patients experience cramps in their muscles, and the patients notice sudden shifts in their bones when walking. Dehydration causes severe symptoms that don’t stop with cramps or discomfort. The symptoms often include tingling sensations, vision difficulties, constipation, and migraine headaches. By staying hydrated, patients not only avoid these symptoms, but better pain management is achieved.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Injections and Medication
Anti-inflammatory injections and medications address the inflammation that is a prevailing symptom for musculoskeletal diseases. The anti-inflammatory injections are injected into soft tissue to address muscle, bone, and joint pain. Cortisone shots are the most fast-acting options for addressing conditions related to tendon or joint injuries or diseases. Corticosteroids are medications that are often prescribed to patients to control inflammation.
Doctors might rule against cortisone injections for long-term treatment as the injections increase the risk of atrophy in subcutaneous tissue and muscles. Practitioners won’t provide extensive injections for athletes who have recurring sports injuries. The injections are often spaced out over a period of years to prevent permanent nerve or tissue damage. The injections are often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and chronic diseases that affect the muscles, bones, and joints.
4. Control Stress Levels
Controlling stress levels helps patients manage chronic pain by avoiding conditions that increase symptoms. Higher stress levels lead to an increase in blood pressure and restriction in the arteries. When a patient is stressed, pain is more pronounced and becomes uncontrollable. Doctors recommend that patients follow steps to lower and manage stress to achieve better pain management.
Meditation is a great place to start when addressing frequent stress. It allows the patient to clear their mind and focus on positive energy. Becoming more focused is also a great way to become more balanced mentally. Adapting to a new positive attitude allows patients to control stress through heightened clarity.
Yoga and meditation are a great combination to manage stress. Yoga doesn’t involve a high impact workout. It is more of a series of stretches and poses that address the muscles and tones the body. Choosing an exercise strategy, such as yoga gives the patient better control over stress.
5. Quit Smoking Right Now
Quitting smoke right now lowers the frequency of chronic pain and decreases the risk of lung cancer. When the patient smokes, the blood vessels are restricted, and blood and proper oxygen levels aren’t flowing throughout the body properly. Smoking tobacco products increase the risk of osteoporosis and threaten the patient’s bone health. If the patient doesn’t stop smoking the discs in the spine deteriorate.
Studies show that patients who have smoked for years are more likely to develop back and neck pain. Smoking increases the patient’s risk of developing arthritis. The longterm effects of smoking affect pain receptors and make smokers hypersensitive to pain. This interferes with most pain management techniques used today. Pain medications aren’t as effective, and even narcotic pain relievers aren’t as helpful due to damage in the body.
Doctors offer several choices for helping patients quit smoking. Among their options are lozenges, nicotine gum, and patches. Doctors prescribe medications that control cravings for nicotine, too. Patients review their options when starting a program according to their preferences. For some, it takes more than one try, but quitting is beneficial and improves the patient’s life.
6. Track Daily Pain Levels and Everyday Activities
Tracking daily pain levels and everyday activities helps the patient record how often they experience pain and what activities increase their pain levels. The record gives the doctor more information when treating the patient for injuries and chronic diseases. Care plans are adjusted according to what increases or decreases the patient’s pain. For example, doctors include exercises and movements that increase mobility and improve the patient’s quality of life. For instance, if yoga and massage therapy help control lower back pain, the doctor might increase the frequency of the exercise and therapy to achieve longer-lasting pain management for the patient.
Doctors also monitor the patient’s progress through care plans. All details collected from the patient, doctors, and therapists define new care plans moving forward. The care plans address everything that affects the patient’s health and pain levels. If the current strategies used for stress management aren’t effective, the doctor finds better options for controlling stress. The source of the patient’s stress defines what treatment is most effective. Records of the patient’s daily activities show what stressors the patient was exposed to during each day.
7. Weight Loss and Diet Plans
Starting a weight loss and diet plan helps the patient address their weight and how it contributes to the frequency of pain and discomfort. Obesity is a contributing factor in chronic pain symptoms. The excessive weight applies pressure on the muscles, bones, and joints. By losing weight, patients lower their risk of chronic conditions such as arthritis, and the patients won’t suffer further health risks linked to obesity including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Creating a healthy diet and weight loss plan helps the patient lose weight gradually without negative results, such as sagging skin or joint injuries. Patients who try to lose weight too quickly increase the risk of permanent heart damage. It is better to find foods that help burn fat and increase metabolism. Doctors prescribe medications that assist the patient’s efforts without creating a health crisis. The practitioner monitors the patient’s weight loss achievements and evaluates the patient’s current health status.
Changes in the diet plan are needed when the patient plateaus. Doctors provide new meal plans and change the patient’s exercise plan according to the patient’s endurance and metabolic rate. The patient’s pain management plan is adjusted according to the patient’s needs and increase medications if absolutely necessary. Whenever possible, doctors help the patients avoid surgery through holistic opportunities.
Chronic pain patients review new and unique strategies for managing their pain. Most patients don’t know how diet, exercise, and stress play a role in lifelong pain, or how making lifestyle changes improve their health and lower pain levels. Quitting smoking improves the patient’s health and lowers the risk of developing lung cancer. It also prevents further spinal damage and persistent pain. Proactively tracking daily activities and pain levels help doctors coordinate a better care plan and improve their quality of life. Following critical tips helps patients manage chronic musculoskeletal pain more effectively and live a healthier life overall.