Chronic pain is perhaps one of the most insidious problems that can enter your life. It gnaws away at you every day, and there doesn’t seem to be much that you can do about it.
However, in recent years, there have been some promising developments. Researchers are increasingly discovering that how we live our lives has a tremendous impact on the level of chronic pain that we experience. It’s not just genetics or childhood – though both of those things make a difference – it’s also lifestyle.
So what, specifically, can you do if you have chronic pain? What strategies could you try?
For some reason (not yet fully understood by researchers) going plant-based seems to help people who have fibromyalgia. Eating fruits and vegetables all day appears to correct some aspects of the condition, reducing reporting pain levels.
In some cases, the changes are profound. People who follow the diet meticulously often experience an 80 percent reduction in symptoms, if not more.
Another approach is to use CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.
CBT deals with the mental aspect of chronic pain. Instead of looking for issues in the physical body, it tries to change the way the mind perceives them. CBT teaches neurons to fire differently in response to pain, reducing subjective discomfort.
CBT has proven effectiveness across the board. It’s good for headaches, chronic muscular tension, and even tinnitus – ringing in the ears.
Completing a CBT course takes about 10 weeks. Usually, patients undergo one to two hours of therapy per week. More is often unnecessary.
Adjust Your Anandamide Levels
Anandamide is the body’s bliss molecule. It’s responsible for when you feel good, and it’s absence is highly correlated with depression.
The body usually makes this substance by itself. But people with chronic pain, depression and other conditions may produce less of it.
Liberty Cannabis is one of a number of companies that is looking for ways to change this. It is a part of an industry that believes that certain plant compounds, such as CBD, may be able to restore the system to balance.
Early testing appears to support this notion. However, the science is not yet conclusive – one of the reasons why it hasn’t yet become mainstream.
Doctors regularly prescribe medication for chronic pain. Many of these drugs adjust the level of various transmitters in the brain, creating a kind of numbing feeling. They may also provide muscle relaxers, anticonvulsants and even sedatives for people who are struggling with their sleep because of their pain.
You may have heard about TENS stimulation. It works by passing small electrical shocks through your skin that disrupt the nerve endings causing you pain. The idea is to create confusion in the nervous system so that your conscious perception of pain begins to fall.
TENS is safe and well-studied, and so it is certain worth consideration. However, pain is likely to return unless you deal directly with the underlying cause. And that can be notoriously difficult to identify.