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7 Tips to Help You Manage Chronic Pain this Summer

7 Tips to Help You Manage Chronic Pain this Summer

Living with chronic pain can be a daily battle with many challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 51.6 million U.S. adults (20.9%) experienced chronic pain, and 17.1 million (6.9%) experienced high-impact chronic pain in 2021.

Despite its prevalence, it can be difficult to manage, particularly during the summer months when activities and social events are abundant. However, it's essential to find ways to help manage symptoms to enjoy the summer fully. Here are a few tips to help manage your chronic pain this summer.

1. Avoid Alcohol

Summer is a time for joyous celebrations and precious moments spent with loved ones. However, it's important to remember the importance of limiting alcohol intake, as the consequences of too much drinking can be harmful to your health. Continued alcohol consumption can result in damage to your nerves and worsen issues with sleep and pain.

It's recommended that women limit their alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day, while men should aim for no more than two drinks. By paying attention to your alcohol consumption, you can manage your pain easier and enjoy what the summer has to offer.

2. Try Yoga

Yoga has emerged as a popular method for managing chronic pain due to its focus on relaxation, strengthening, and flexibility through stretching. Its specific poses offer targeted attention to different parts of the body, providing relief and improved mobility. Other benefits of yoga include:

  • Mood improvement
  • Increased energy
  • Joint pain relief
  • And more

Yoga can be a great option for you to try this summer. There are many ways to start yoga, whether at home or in a class setting. There are also many online videos and experienced instructors who offer guidance for those looking to incorporate yoga into their daily routines.

3. Avoid Lying in Bed Too Long

It is generally recommended that adults need around seven or more hours of sleep each night to ensure adequate rest. Unfortunately, poor sleep habits due to chronic pain can be a major issue. Individuals who suffer from pain can experience sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep patterns which can further exacerbate their condition.

However, it is important to establish regular bed and wake times that coincide with the body’s natural rhythms. Using your bed solely for sleep and sex rather than for other activities, such as reading or watching TV, can also help improve your sleep quality. In addition, staying in bed for long periods can lead to:

  • Weaker muscles and bones
  • Stiffness
  • Loneliness
  • Depression

Instead, try to find low-impact hobbies and activities to spend your summer outside of your bed. Examples can include:

  • Swimming
  • Reading
  • Chatting with a friend
  • Journaling
  • Watching movies
  • Organizing your space

4. Improve Your Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for overall well-being. In order to manage inflammation, your healthcare provider may advise you to try an anti-inflammatory diet. Reducing the consumption of foods that cause inflammation, such as red meat and refined carbohydrates, can go a long way in soothing chronic pain.

Foods to incorporate into your diet can include:

  • Whole fruits
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

It is important to understand that this diet is not a quick-fix solution but a long-term preventive measure. Choosing nutrient-dense options and eliminating inflammatory foods can help manage inflammation, reduce pain, and boost your overall health.

5. Talk to Your Boss

If you're struggling to perform your job due to pain, having a conversation with your supervisor may be crucial to getting the support you need. While this conversation may be uncomfortable, it's important to know that disclosure of your disability is a personal choice and not a requirement for employment.

If you choose to disclose, you can decide how much information you share with your workplace. This means that you can discuss only the limitations and modifications your supervisor needs to know in order to best support you in your role. With open communication, you may be able to find solutions that allow you to work effectively despite your pain.

6. Ask for a Flexible Work Schedule

Flexibility in your work schedule can be a helpful accommodation for working with chronic pain. If you find that your pain levels are more intense later in the day, consider talking to your supervisor about an earlier shift. Another option you can explore is a hybrid role, combining work from the office and working remotely.

Additionally, if you need breaks throughout the day, it might be beneficial to consider taking one long break instead of several small ones. Don't hesitate to communicate with your supervisor to create a customized solution that works for everyone involved. By doing so, you can help improve your comfort and productivity at work.

7. Try an Ergonomic Setup

If you work in an office setting, it may be worth trying an ergonomic desk setup. These setups are designed to help improve posture and reduce discomfort, particularly in the back, neck, and shoulders.

An ergonomic setup includes the following main points:

  • Placing your computer screen right in front of you.
  • Keeping your arms at a 90-degree angle.
  • Having your legs and thighs parallel to your seat.
  • Resting your feet flat on the floor.

By making a few adjustments to your workspace, you could see an improvement in your comfort level and productivity. It's important to note that while an ergonomic setup can be helpful, it shouldn't replace other treatments or therapies recommended by your healthcare provider.

Contact Integrated Pain Solutions

If you're experiencing pain this summer, there are several methods you might utilize to manage it while at home or work. However, it's essential to work with a qualified medical professional; to develop a distinctive pain management plan that caters to your needs.

Our team of pain management physicians at American Pain Consortium is here to help you. We're passionate about providing our patients with solutions to help manage their pain effectively.

Don't hesitate to call us; we're ready to assist you. Dial (888) 615-2726 or fill out our online form.