Majority of people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are in some sort of pain daily. Whether you wake up with shooting pain in your back, or experience the aches of arthritis, or are dealing with pain associated with MS you need to find relief and quickly. And if you’re passionate about holistic health, you might be searching for natural ways to deal with your chronic pain.
Chronic pain is something that is not fully understood by medical science and has mostly been dealt with through prescribing strong pain medication, especially opiates. While these drugs might be appropriate for dealing with the excruciating (acute) pain immediately after surgery, they aren’t healthy when used to deal with chronic pain.
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural ways you can reduce your chronic pain and get back to feeling healthy and strong again. Here are 18 things you can incorporate into your life to start feeling joyful and pain-free once again.
1. Reduce stress
Stress is a killer and it can exacerbate symptoms of pain. When you’re stressed you tend to tense up, which stresses out the muscles, nerves, and joints associated with your pain. Figure out which things you can cut out of your life and start practicing saying no to excessive commitments.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is the key ingredient in chronic pain. Help your body out by removing inflammation-causing foods from your diet. You’ll reduce your overall inflammation load and ease up the general stress on your body, giving it room to heal the real inflammation issues.
3. Get more sleep
You can’t function well without enough sleep. If you suffer from sleep issues, find out how to resolve them. Get to bed early and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep will power down your body and mind, allowing necessary healing to take place. Need help sleeping better? Talk with me.
4. Exercise more
A strong body doesn’t get injured as easily. Incorporate daily exercise into your day for overall health. Consider adding in strength training exercises to help increase your bone density and muscle strength. It will help make your body more sturdy and less susceptible to injury. You’ll also get an endorphin rush, which can help with managing pain. MS and exercise is not always easy, working with me as your health and wellness coach we'll come up with a plan together.
5. Increase endorphins
Endorphins are the natural chemical created and released by the body that gives you a natural high. This feeling can become stronger than the pain signals, causing your pain to fade into the background. There are a number of great ways to increase your daily release of endorphins and they can help your body redirect the focus on feeling great instead of in pain.
Mindfulness is an excellent tool for dealing with pain. Learn how to meditate, find a favorite guided meditation, or start taking a mindfulness class like tai chi. You’ll help retrain your brain to better deal with and analyze the feelings of pain.
7. Use heat therapy
Heat is soothing and relaxing to sore muscles, joints, and other areas with pain. Use a quality moist heat pack and allow it to melt the tense and painful areas of your body.
8. Enjoy hot Epsom salt baths
Another way to use heat therapy is to take a hot bath every day with Epsom salts. Add in soothing essential oils like lavender for an aromatic experience that will trigger a de stressing effect. Sip on a cup of chamomile tea for the ultimate relaxation experience.
9. Take Turmeric
Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation and help chronic pain sufferers to find relief. Especially to those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Give it a try to find out if it might work for you.
10. Take omega-3s and probiotics
Up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and quality probiotics to decrease body-wide inflammation and to heal your gut. The more nutritional support you can provide your body, the better it can heal.
11. Use essential oils
You can use your favorite essential oils aromatically to help induce relaxation, feelings of joy, and to ground yourself. Include them in a bath, diffuse them throughout your house, or just sit and smell them while meditating or relaxing.
12. Visit a Naturopath
If your chronic pain is truly unmanageable, it might be time to check in with a Naturopathic Doctor. They can help you sort through the mental part of the pain and find some techniques you can use to change the way you experience the pain.
13. Visit a massage therapist
Massage can help to iron out tight muscles, bring about a state of deep relaxation, and help you shed the feeling of tension and stress. Getting a regular massage can help chronic pain sufferers change the way their body feels and heal old injuries.
14. Learn physical therapy exercises
Some specific areas of our bodies might be especially weak and prone to injuries. Visit a physical therapist to find out what kinds of exercises you can do at home to strengthen those areas of the body to reduce and prevent pain.
15. Develop a yoga practice
A flexible body can help you stretch out tight areas of your body and keep your muscles and joints moving fluidly. The breathing and meditative aspects of yoga can help you bring a sense of calm back into your mind and help you feel grounded.
16. Schedule an appointment with an acupuncturist
Acupuncture has been shown to help with pain relief. Give it a try to see if your specific pain might benefit from the help of a trained and licensed acupuncturist. Tip: Some Naturopathic doctors are also licensed acupuncturists.
17. Get outside
Nature makes us feel grounded, alive, and present. The sun helps to release endorphins, as does the exercise aspect of moving outside. Soak up nature as often as you can to help reduce your pain and remind yourself of what really matters to you.
18. Increase your laughter
Laughter truly is the best medicine. Start hanging out with your funniest friends again. Find out which types of movies and books make you laugh, then watch and read more of them. Learn how to laugh when you make a silly mistake. Surround yourself with light-hearted, kind people who know that shared laughter is the best way to give friendship.
You Can Do It!
Chronic pain can be horribly debilitating, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t find relief. Don’t try to do these things all at once. Try one and if it works, integrate it into your lifestyle. Then try the next one. As you find deeper wellness, your sense of pain will start to fade into the background of your awareness. You can have an enjoyable, pain-free life once again!
I would love to hear how you reduce and manage your chronic pain. Drop a note in the comments below.
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Jen Martin is a Master Certified Wellness Coach, specializing in helping women with Multiple Sclerosis to skyrocket energy levels, manage MS symptoms and improve overall health naturally, so that you can transform from Fatigued to Fabulous! The MS Energy Blueprint is your personalized roadmap to your health and wellness success.