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Pain Awareness Month

Pain is not something that you need to learn to deal with. It’s your body telling you that something is probably wrong and needs attention. If you are living with chronic pain, you know how debilitating it can be for living your life. 


Nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain. That’s more people than those with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. If you have pain, you should know that you’re not alone. Understanding your underlying causes of pain can help improve treatments and alleviate suffering.


Chronic pain management aims to help you have the best function and quality of life possible. You and your providers can develop a plan that places you in control. Putting yourself in charge helps you manage chronic pain better. 


Below are techniques that, when used consistently and together, may help manage chronic pain. 

  1. Stretch, practice good posture, and move gently. Try full-body stretches or gentle yoga for about 10 to 15 minutes daily.
  2. Stay active. As recommended by your health care provider, an activity routine can strengthen muscles, improve mood, and distract from pain.
  3. Reduce stress and practice relaxation techniques. This can include the use of relaxed breathing, muscle relaxation, or mindfulness. Smartphone applications that focus on relaxation and mindfulness can be useful for this.
  4. Pace yourself. Doing too much or too little can increase pain. Daily planning with a balance of daily tasks, recreation, and other responsibilities can help with structure and routine. Taking breaks before the pain level is too high can decrease the frustration that may happen with a pain flare.
  5. Maintain a positive outlook by scheduling enjoyable activities. Managing pain often means creating opportunities to be positive. Taking part in enjoyable activities has been shown to decrease the effects of pain signals in the body.
  6. Stay connected with others. Spending time with friends and family, in-person or via video chat, can decrease focus on pain. 
  7. Get the sleep you need. Poor sleep can often worsen pain. Good sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques, and a calming nighttime routine can improve sleep.


 If you are having consistent pain, even with incorporating the tips above, it might be time to seek help from a professional. Southwest Health has a team of pain management specialists ready to assist! 


If you are tired of taking medication every day to control your pain, and tired of the side effects from those medications, then it’s time to get to the root of your pain. A pain management specialist will work with you one-on-one to individualize a program designed to improve your quality of life, allowing you to return to your normal daily functions. Chronic pain can be debilitating and exhausting. Schedule an appointment today with Southwest Health’s Interventional Pain team, call (608) 342-5060.