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Pain Control Management

Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss

Extra weight can put extra strain on the muscles and joints, causing pain and sometimes more damage. For example, a protruding stomach can put extra stress on the low back, pulling the spine out of proper alignment.
 
Stronger muscles, particularly those of the stomach and back, can help keep the body in proper position when doing things like walking up stairs, lifting, or even just sitting at a desk. Activities that strengthen core muscles, such as yoga, Pilates, or specialized back and abdominal exercises, are particularly helpful for back pain. Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body, which can decrease inflammation and aid healing.
 
A good diet that is low in saturated fats and high in nutrients can increase energy and mental alertness, which may help in handling the psychological and emotional aspects of pain.
 

Sleep

Lack of sleep can both cause and result from pain. Not getting enough sleep at night often makes pain worse and decreases your ability to effectively handle pain during the day. If you are having trouble sleeping, you may need to improve your sleep habits (see Good Sleep Habits). If you still are having trouble sleeping, talk with your healthcare provider about short-term treatments for insomnia or visiting a sleep clinic.
 

Final Thoughts on Pain Control Management

For many people, chronic pain is a way of life. However, there are many medications or other approaches that can help reduce pain and make it more manageable. Your regular healthcare provider, such as a "family doctor" or general practitioner, is a great place to start. He or she can help you sort through the options and perhaps even refer you to a pain specialist, if necessary.
 
8 Frequent Pain Syndromes
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