Everyone makes a New Year’s resolutions. It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti, but it’s not impossible. For that chronic pain you’ve been dealing with for a while now, you should make that a priority for the New Year. This year, pick up a few of the following worthy resolutions to relive your chronic pain:
1. Walk at least 3 or 4 times a week.
The benefits are clear: Regular low impact aerobic exercise is thought to reduce inflammation, strengthen your muscles, and provide healing by sending oxygen-rich blood to the painful area.
2. Stand up every hour
Having a lengthy commute and a desk job doesn’t have to mean sitting all day.
Sitting less is key to improving back health; one study found that just 66 fewer minutes sitting each day significantly reduces back and neck pain while also improving your mood. Use a laptop stand or standing desk at work as opposed to a traditional desk. The discs of your lower spine are compressed up to 3 times as much while sitting; so standing at work can relieve pressure on the spine.
3. Practice yoga
Yoga is a mind/body exercise that reduces stress, increases flexibility, builds strength, and for many people, helps to reduce pain. Many people with back pain or other pain conditions that result from lifestyle factors like poor posture can benefit greatly from yoga.
4. Stop smoking
If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health. Smoking and chronic pain have a strong relationship. Smokers are three times more likely to experience lower back pain than non-smokers, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Quitting smoking can be highly challenging but is definitely worth the effort. Don’t put off quitting. Set a date and stick to it. Share the date with friends and family, so you’re more committed to that date and they can help hold you accountable to it.
5. Give your feet some well-deserved love
For all types of chronic pain, take better care of your feet this year. They support our entire bodies in everything we do, and they deserve a little attention. Wash, dry, and inspect your feet daily, no matter your condition. Give them a little massage to keep the circulation flowing. Lastly, do not sacrifice style for comfort and find a pair of shoes that are perfect for your feet.