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Lifestyle Medicine In Primary Care Can Significantly Reduce Chronic Pain

Updated: May 17

Lifestyle medicine in primary care when properly utilized can significantly help reduce chronic pain by minimizing stress, optimizing physical activity, improving sleep quality, and enhancing overall well-being. Of course everyone is different and our needs are unique. Here are some of the lifestyle changes that we often recommend that may help you too.

Engaging in daily low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, with gentle but deliberate stretching can improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and alleviate tension. Along with these, be sure to make your environment more ergonomic by using supportive chairs, ergonomic keyboards, and adjusting your workspace to reduce daily strain on your body.

Practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation. Stress exacerbates chronic pain, so managing it effectively is crucial. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains helps us mentally and biologically by reducing both emotional and physical components of stress. Limiting processed foods and sugar can help reduce inflammation, which is often associated with chronic pain conditions.

Keep a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. This means cutting out screen time especially mobile phones out much earlier in the day. Quality sleep is essential for pain management and overall health. Break your daily tasks into manageable segments and take breaks when needed. Avoid overexertion, as it can worsen pain symptoms. By the same token however gradually increasing physical activity under supervision of your Lifestyle Medicine Primary Care Physician and appropriate supportive therapy such as massage, manual therapy, laser, traction and infrared to name just a few can have a huge impact on improving your life. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family members who understand your condition and don't criticize or stress you out more can be very beneficial. Be careful though here, and be smart. I urge you not to share these personal and private issues experiences on social media. Some things in life should remain totally private. Social media and excess device usage in many cases seems to greatly aggravate chronic pains, actually can contribute endlessly to patient confusion, and make our jobs as physicians helping you implement changes much more difficult.

Excess weight can put added strain on your joints and exacerbate pain. As I talk about extensively, excess weight drives inflammation as well as metabolic syndrome or pre diabetes. Aim for a healthy weight through a combination of carbohydrate controlled plant based diet and exercise Integrated into your life as daily habits.

Remember, it's essential to work closely with your Lifestyle Medicine Physician not only for counsel but lifestyle and stress reduction, planning, supervision, and medical monitoring.

Lifestyle Medicine In Primary Care Can Significantly Reduce Chronic Pain
Lifestyle Medicine In Primary Care Can Significantly Reduce Chronic Pain

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