New Year’s Resolutions have been around for a long time. In fact, it’s a tradition that’s said to have begun about 4,000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. Even though today’s world looks quite a bit different than the world of 4,000 years ago, we don’t see any reason to stop a good thing.
We propose that you make 2021 the year you put a more intentional focus on managing your chronic pain. To that end, we’ve put together a list of our top suggestions for a New Year’s Resolution that does just that!
Reflect on 2020
Before you choose a resolution for tackling your chronic pain, first take some time to consider how you’ve handled your pain over the course of the past year(s). How would you answer the following questions?
- How has your pain improved & what worked?
- How has your pain stayed the same?
- How has your pain worsened & what contributed?
Then, make a resolution that best adds value to the positive results you’ve just documented. You could also schedule a time to meet with a member of your pain management Bedford TX care team (locations also in Benbrook & Lewisville) to get their insight and help in establishing the best approach.
Get Back to the Basics
We know that each person’s condition is unique and that there isn’t just one magic formula for success. Everything depends upon your capabilities, circumstances and condition. However, no matter where you’re coming from, the right foundation is essential. What we mean by that is that if you don’t begin with a foundation of a healthy lifestyle, even the most cutting-edge technology has a limit.
These six behaviors are critical for lowering your pain levels and ensuring the best possible outcomes when combined with other pain management strategies. We recommend reading through each of them and choosing one as your new year’s resolution – specifically, the one that will be easiest to integrate into your life.
You may already know that tobacco isn’t good for you, but did you know that it is especially hard on those who have chronic pain? Studies show that smoking can negatively impact sleep, mood, depression, fatigue, and contributes to pain-interference.
Get Better Quality Sleep
This resolution is about more than just the amount of rest you get. The Sleep Foundation reports that poor sleep quality can lead to increased sensitivity to pain as well as putting people at a higher risk for developing other chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia or migraines. If you want to improve your sleep quality, consider sticking to a consistent schedule, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, limit daytime naps and find effective ways to manage your stressors.
Set Realistic Goals
Keep your goals small and realistic. Start off by creating a goal you can accomplish in less than four weeks. Write it down, along with a list of tools you will need to complete the goal and obstacles that may get in the way of your success. Finally, don’t do it alone – get a friend or family member to join you.
Inflammation contributes to pain and certain foods contribute to inflammation. In other words, your diet can be a large part of the reason your joints ache! Two examples of excellent anti-inflammatory diets include: the Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
Achieve/Maintain a Healthy Weight
An unhealthy weight can contribute to many challenges surrounding chronic pain conditions. Obesity is directly related to low back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, abdominal pain and more. Consider finding ways to incorporate daily activity that doesn’t trigger your chronic pain or consult your doctor to get suggestions on a healthy eating plan.
Connect with your Care Team
Get your appointments with your care team on the calendar early and often so that you have ongoing support in your chronic pain management. Our pain management Bedford TX doctors (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville) are accepting new patients and would love to help you find more health and happiness this year.
The more support you have in your life, the better your chances of success with achieving your goals. At the Comprehensive Pain Institute, we offer a scope of services depending on your specific set of needs as a patient. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation at any one of our three Texas locations: Bedford, Benbrook, or Lewisville.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice, nor does reading or accessing this information create a patient-provider relationship. Comments that you post will be shared with all visitors to this page. All comments are not governed by HIPAA and you should not post any private health information.