Key Lifestyle Changes That Could Improve Your Treatment

Key Lifestyle Changes That Could Improve Your Treatment

Key Lifestyle Changes That Could Improve Your Treatment

Treating persistent pain is one of the most challenging aspects of medicine. There are times when a pain doctor might recommend something like physical therapy or surgery. There are other times when injection therapies or something like spinal cord stimulation are more appropriate. Interestingly, most treatments can be further enhanced by lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes pertain to how we live our daily lives. In some cases of moderate pain, a few lifestyle changes are all that are necessary to find relief. But when pain is more severe and persistent, such changes may not be enough in and of themselves. That is where pain medicine comes into play.

How Lifestyle Contributes to Pain

One of the things we pain doctors have learned over the years is that successfully treating pain is rarely a matter of a single treatment and nothing more. We often rely on multiple treatments along with lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes we recommend are offered with the knowledge that a person’s lifestyle almost always contributes to pain – at least to some degree.

A simple illustration should make this easy to understand. Imagine a professional football player experiencing persistent pain in the upper body. A big part of his lifestyle is playing a sport that knocks him around every time he practices or plays in a game. His lifestyle is contributing to his pain.

Although the illustration is extreme, the principal holds true across various aspects of daily life. Regardless of whether a person is experiencing back pain, pain in the shoulders and neck, or even sciatica pain, there are undoubtedly lifestyle factors influencing how that pain is experienced on a daily basis.

Making Lifestyle Changes

With the link between lifestyle and pain established, it is time to discuss a few key lifestyle changes that could actually improve your treatment. One of our clinicians might recommend kyphoplasty for your back pain. A doctor might recommend transforaminal epidural injections or even a medial branch nerve block. Regardless of the recommended treatment, the treatment might prove more effective with the following lifestyle changes:

1. Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Carrying excess weight around puts more stress on muscles, ligaments, and bones. The body’s structures are less capable of supporting the weight, thereby increasing the pain experience. By maintaining a healthy weight, a patient can actually reduce their pain.

2. Practicing Good Posture

Good posture leads to pain reduction by reducing stress on various parts of the body – particularly the back. If you can learn good posture and practice it daily, you might notice a dramatic reduction in back pain.

3.  Exercising Regularly

Low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles improves the body’s ability to support its own structures. As an added bonus, strong muscles are also more flexible. As uncomfortable as exercise might be at the moment, it can go a long way toward reducing pain.

4. Getting Good Sleep

Sleep is integral to the body’s ability to repair damage incurred throughout the day. When a person doesn’t sleep well, the body’s natural healing response does not work as well as it should. This can contribute to the pain experience. On the other hand, getting enough restful sleep every night improves the healing response and reduces pain.

We would never guarantee that lifestyle changes alone will eliminate persistent pain. That is often not the case. But lifestyle changes can enhance just about any pain treatment we could offer. Here at Lone Star Pain Medicine, we believe in doing whatever we can to help patients feel better. To that end, we recommend lifestyle changes to go along with the treatments we offer.

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