Updated: 2 days ago
Let's begin with food - what we eat
If you want to reduce or make an effective difference to your pain, a first is make your body healthier and able to function better. The best way to do this is to eat what is generally called whole foods, that means going out buying fresh fruit, vegetables and protein such as fish eggs dairy and meat. And then, unfortunately you need to be able to cook though there are a lot of simple meals. I remember in my 20s eating a lot of spaghetti Bolognese whenever we went to friends houses. Though I believe the twentysomethings may be eating a lot better these days and certainly consuming a lot more vegetables.
Eating the rainbow
One way to improve your overall diet is to make it a ‘rainbow’ way of shopping and eating – find and put as many different colours on your plate as possible.
Sugar, naughty but nice?
Unfortunately the next news I have to share with you is not so good. Many of us need to reduce or completely curtail our intake of sugar that also includes all type of sweetening so it includes honey, syrups and most certainly artificial sweeteners. To add to sugars it is worthwhile looking at the amount of simple carbohydrates that you eat such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta as these are digested rapidly, effectively giving you a sugar hit. This sugar elimination will also include soft drinks and energy drinks. More bad news is to monitor your alcohol intake. But it is important to maybe enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate (that's exactly what I do, my excuse it’s dark chocolate) or a glass of wine if this is something you enjoy.
Don’t allow how you eat to stress you – stress is bad for your chronic pain
Sometimes we really need a good reason to closely watch our food, what the why and how we eat, but sometimes I see clients who really are working too hard and getting stressed about being "so careful" about what they eat and drink.
What’s wrong with sugar – how does it affect my pain?
Okay you may say "Jean, what's wrong with sugar and how does sugar affect my pain". Without going into technical details here sugar interacts with our immune system and can affect the inflammatory response. Sugar produces a pro-inflammatory response, i.e. increasing pain as opposed to an anti-inflammatory response. This has the ability to decrease the neural pain messages within our nervous system throughout our body.
Chronic pain and our emotions
If you stop and think about chronic pain for a moment it really can never be divorced from our emotions. We can get emotional about food, diets, and what we think and feel, on a daily basis about your chronic pain. Your pain can be with you when you wake up, when you go to work or study, when you look after your family and at the end of the day when you are feeling completely exhausted with the effort needed to live with your chronic pain.
So look at food and plan to make changes and get started tomorrow if not today.
Your painless journey starts now!
Exercise as a remedy for Chronic Pain
Exercise has long been prescribed for all people suffering chronic musculoskeletal pain. This prescription may have been specific exercises and stretches from your physiotherapist or orders to go to your local gym and possibly engage a personal trainer. Now I realise that many of you have tried one or both of these options but they don't work for everyone. At times exercise of many different types can make your chronic pain worse, even perhaps leaving you incapacitated for days while you wait for your body to recover.
I cannot do exercise - it makes my chronic pain worse
Chronic pain can stop us moving in a balanced and fluid manner. We are designed to move-with muscles easily able to contract and relax as we move our body. To begin to recover from chronic pain I believe movement, not exercise, should be part of your prescription. To make any inroads to your chronic pain and improvements in lifestyle you need to return fluidity and flexibility to each muscle in your body and your overall movement. One way to get help is to have an understanding personal trainer, here is a link to an older personal trainer who you can contact and will work online if needed.
Fear of movement in chronic pain clients
I address this problem in two ways; firstly helping you remove the apprehension about causing more damage and injury if you move. Secondly to create a different mindset around the thoughts before you move. This is a difficult process to explain in writing as each of you will have different thoughts and reactions when your ass to move would do an exercise or even get up off the chair at work to go to the toilet.
How PASC addresses fears around Chronic Pain
When you and I can discuss your personal fears, your pain fears we come up with a personalised way for movement forward (excuse the pun). For those of you not able to meet with me yet, the very best way to start to increase movement is to do something you really enjoy. Perhaps this is dancing, swimming and walk along the beach or through your local park. Ensure you start slowly and build up gradually so your body can free up. I found some people have a warm shower before their walk as this really helps warm up your muscles and create blood flow so effectively giving a really good warmup!
This article is the personal opinion of the author, Jean Jordan who is a natural therapist who works online with people who have chronic pain.
Check out her website www.painanxietystressclinic.nz
PASC goes online! Due to many changes in the past two years Jean has started a new online business to get more people to make changes to their pain and begin to get their lives back on track and be happy.
Introducing "Natural Pain Solutions"
In January work started on Jean's online programme for natural pain therapy, available in New Zealand, Australia and UK
Check out the website for information, education and stories about chronic pain (pain that never really goes away) www.naturalpainsolutions.nz
If you've had enough of living with pain here are three options to link up with a natural pain therapist, 15 years experience in treating a wide range of chronic pain in pain clinics in Perth and Christchurch, all in the comfort of your own home. Check it out!
If you know someone with chronic pain please share this blog with them