Good Habits Can Reduce Chronic Pain

back-pain-manIf you don’t suffer from chronic pain, you probably know someone who does. More than 100 million people suffer from some form of chronic pain, according to the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Whether the pain results from arthritis, injury, or any ailment, relief is a constant focus for that population.

The issue can be complex, but our doctors at Southwest Spine & Sports advocate simple changes to benefit people with chronic pain: Cut out bad habits, relax on a regular basis, and make simple adjustments in your life. In short, turn good ideas into daily habits.

Start with exercise. Even a light workout delivers endorphins, chemicals that block pain and improve moods. It’s no secret that quitting smoking brings nearly immediate help, too, especially for people with chronic pain. Since smoking diminishes circulation and slows healing, stopping is a benefit. More improvement comes from better nutrition and less alcohol. Don’t forget to breathe, too! Deep breathing and meditation ease stress and relax the body, which also help relieve pain.

More details on the benefits of changes in daily habits can be found in “10 Daily Habits to Reduce Chronic Pain,” on