5 Ways to Manage Chronic Pain in Sobriety
While the opioid crisis continues to rage through North America, those who have found sobriety who suffer from chronic pain are facing unique challenges in managing their pain without the use of narcotic pain medicine. Enduring chronic pain can be scary if you don’t have an effective solution to turn to. Without proper pain management techniques, it can be difficult for people in recovery to not return to prescription opioids when the pain gets too bad. In order to maintain sobriety, it is important to become educated on alternative pain management methods. Here are 5 ways to help you manage chronic pain in sobriety.
Is chronic pain taking a toll on both your mind and your body? Therapeutic massage has the ability to help relieve chronic pain by relaxing muscles, joints, and tendons while also reducing stress and anxiety. By helping alleviate stress and anxiety, massage can reduce the frequency of pain messages that are passed from one neuron to the next in the brain. Not only is it a great way to manage pain, but it can also help in regaining your range of motion that may be impaired due to a sustained injury or chronic pain.
Research has suggested that acupuncture may be effective for managing chronic pain. Although having multiple tiny needles stuck into your skin may seem intimidating at first, it is a pain-free and safe practice when done by a well-trained practitioner. In fact, it can actually be extremely relaxing. Acupuncture works by stimulating energy flow and adenosine, a chemical that helps to ease nerve pain in the body. It is an effective technique to reap the benefits of narcotic-free pain relief in sobriety.
Exercise is an essential asset to people who suffer from chronic pain. However, it is common for people with chronic pain to avoid exercising because it puts pressure on their muscles and joints, which can cause further pain. Studies show that physical activity promotes a decrease in chronic pain and an increase in physical and psychological function. Fortunately, water aerobics allows people to exercise in warm water that reduces inflammation and takes pressure away from the joints. With reduced pressure and inflammation, people who suffer from chronic pain can get a great workout by trying water aerobics.
Stretching and strength building are two key aspects of managing chronic pain, and yoga can help you do both. With yoga, it is important to remember to start slow and not to pursue any pose that causes pain – it should merely feel like a stretch. If any position causes pain, it is important to stop the position immediately and notify your instructor. They can help you with different positions that will be beneficial to your body. Incorporating yoga into your daily routine helps build muscle and increase flexibility, resulting in less pain and inflammation in the muscles and joints. Not only is yoga effective in reducing pain, but it also will help enhance your mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and promote overall well being.
If your mind and body are growing tired from dealing with chronic pain, meditation is probably for you. Mindful meditation can help put pain into perspective and make it more tolerable. When you struggle emotionally with something, it only makes your outlook on the situation get worse. Chronic pain is the same way, but if you can get in touch with it through mindfulness and accept it through meditation, the pain will become something you can manage and be at peace with. Like yoga, meditation takes practice, but it carries bountiful benefits physically and emotionally.
Managing chronic pain in sobriety isn’t easy at first, but it is possible through the use of alternative pain management techniques. Giving these methods a try can help ease both your mind and your body when it comes to the pain you endure on a daily basis. Don’t let chronic pain continue to put a strain on your physical or psychological health!
Cassidy Webb is an avid writer in recovery. She works with JourneyPure to help advocate spread awareness around addiction. Her passion is helping others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.