The Link Between Relaxation and Pain Relief
December 27, 2017
The thought of relaxation may seem farfetched or even impossible when you are living with pain. But studies have shown that the benefits of actively practicing relaxation can aid in pain relief and even work in conjunction with medications. Whether you already enjoy yoga and meditation or find calm and relaxation between the pages of a good novel or by working out in the garden, engaging in activities that help you relax can also help you manage acute and chronic pain by reducing stress, releasing endorphins, and easing muscle tension.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there are several relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, and biofeedback. Although everyone responds differently and some techniques may work better than others for different people, the overall goal of all relaxation techniques is to lower blood pressure, cause slower, deeper and more mindful breathing, and to increase overall feelings of wellness and tranquility.
Everyday lifestyle tips for reducing stress and managing pain
Incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes and modifications can help you reduce your stress and manage your pain.
Stay active with appropriate exercises and physical activity
Avoiding exercise and physical activity might seem like the best thing to do when you are suffering from pain, but contrary to popular belief, avoiding physical activity can actually make muscle and joint pain worse. Appropriate exercise can help to reduce muscle tension, lubricate your joints, and release endorphins. Consult with a medical professional to find the best option for you.
Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight
Certain foods can contribute to inflammation, and being overweight can put additional pressure on joints and the back. A clean and balanced diet can promote long-term wellness and lower the risk of certain conditions and diseases that can contribute to pain.
Stay social and active in your community
Social isolation and loneliness have been shown to increase the risk of depression and health problems. Although it might be tempting to stay home and avoid people when you are in pain, an active and healthy social life can help to lower stress and anxiety, as well as provide a support network.
Whether you choose to begin a regular meditation practice or find relaxation in simple activities such as soaking in a bath with essential oils before or after work, less stress can also result in less pain.