Chronic pain can interfere with all aspects of life. It can lead to insomnia, impaired physical activity, isolation and depression. The most common chronic pain conditions are arthritis, back of neck, joint and nerve pain, and migraine.

Fortunately, we now have several strategies for relieving chronic pain, including:

Physical and occupational therapies can be great allies in fighting your pain. Physical therapists guide you through mild exercise routines that help improve your strength and mobility. Occupational therapists teach you how to perform everyday activities in ways that don’t aggravate your pain.

Yoga and tai chi have been successful in reducing or controlling pain from many conditions, including backache, headache, arthritis and lingering injuries. Movements emphasize strengthening the back and core muscles.

Massage therapy is especially effective for reducing muscular backache and pain from surgeries and injuries, as it relieves stress and anxiety.

Mind-body techniques, such as breathing exercises, can help you manage your perception of pain. Regarding your pain in a calmer way can reduce anxiety that otherwise would increase pain.

PRACTICAL Habits for Chronic Pain

  • Gentle cardio exercise can boost endorphin brain chemicals that help block pain signals.
  • Protect your sleep quality (e.g., alcohol and stress aggravate sleep problems).
  • Quit smoking, as it can cause circulation problems and worsen your pain.
  • You can learn from a support group.
  • Track your pain level and activities every day.
  • A well-balanced diet is essential to feeling stronger.

Pain researchers see the best results when treatment is prescribed after a thorough evaluation of each individual, often using a combination of therapies that can lead to improving your day-to-day quality of life.