I’ve learned a thing or two about ways to reduce chronic pain naturally. Years before my endometriosis surgery and diagnosis, I struggled with ongoing chronic pain in the form of intense pelvic cramps, digestive flare-ups, lower back pain, sciatica, and painful periods. I spent the majority of my adult life having my pain and symptoms dismissed by medical professionals. Consequently, my experience encouraged me to pursue holistic, alternative remedies to decrease my pain and manage my symptoms. While it didn’t completely erase my pain or stop endometriosis from spreading, it helped make life a bit more tolerable. I want to share as much insight with you as I can if you find yourself in a similar position and want to look into more holistic ways to manage your pain.
Reducing Chronic Pain with Nutrition
One of the first significant changes I made was improving my nutrition. This can be easier said than done, especially considering there’s so many do’s and don’ts regarding nutrition and chronic illness. And, while I don’t believe in one size fits all diet mentality. I think that incorporating nutritional adjustments that work for your body and help reduce your symptoms is vital. Furthermore, you need to find a way of eating that you can commit to and make it a lifestyle habit.
For me, this meant focusing on creating an intuitive and flexible approach that wasn’t restrictive. Yet, nourished my body and reduced my pain and symptoms. This meant paying attention to how foods impacted my pain and symptoms regularly. I accomplished this by tracking the foods that I ate and how they made me feel. Did they make me feel sluggish? Did I experience a flare-up or painful symptoms soon after consuming these foods? Did eating certain foods lead to more painful periods with an increased menstrual flow? Analyzing my food intake led me to discover that dairy, red meat, processed foods, overconsumption of sugar, and eating foods high in insoluble fiber were problematic. Consuming these foods led to digestive flare-ups, increased pelvic pain, excruciatingly painful periods, and increased lower back pain. I took this knowledge and transitioned these problematic foods from my diet.
Furthermore, I took the time to educate myself on nutrition and how it impacted my hormonal balance and endometriosis. Understanding the basics about my condition and how it increased inflammation and hormonal imbalance helped me learn how to use nutrition as a tool to naturally decrease my chronic pain. This led me to focus more on implementing a more anti-inflammatory style of eating. I reduced my inflammation by increasing my intake of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods. I basically patterned my nutrition off the Mediterranean diet. Which is known for its anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy benefits. To learn more about the Mediterranean style diet, click here.
Using Gentle Exercise to Reduce Chronic Pain Naturally
I know it sounds a bit counterproductive to encourage movement to decrease chronic pain. But, I promise you it does help. The key is making sure that the type of exercise you’re doing isn’t too strenuous for your current state of health. This will be different for each individual according to your pain, health condition, illness, and stage you’re in. You may find these general guidelines beneficial. Swap your high-intensity workouts for low to moderate-intensity exercise.
Additionally, try to keep workout sessions short. Anywhere between 15-30 minutes is ideal. You can look into walking, low-intensity hiking, yoga, swimming, pilates, or light resistance training. Exercise machines such as the elliptical and exercise bike are also great options for cardio workouts. Whatever style of movement you choose, I encourage you to prioritize listening to your body. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. If you’re struggling with a flare-up or experiencing a high pain day, it’s perfectly ok to rest and recover until you feel up to it. Because pushing yourself and overdoing it, can negatively impact your health and contribute to increased inflammation and more hormonal imbalance. Which you definitely do not want. Remember to start slow and adjust as needed.
How Fertility Tracking Helped with Chronic Pain
Hands down, making the changes to my nutrition and fitness had the most significant benefits of naturally reducing my chronic pain. But, becoming body literate and charting my cycle gave me the external feedback I needed to let me know I was making progress. Seeing how my pain and symptoms were improving—regardless of how little gave me the confidence to continue doing what was right for my body.
Additionally, charting my cycle educated me about my reproductive health. I saw how I struggled with irregular cycles caused by ovulation dysfunction. I began to notice new symptoms emerge, such as painful ovulation, which I’d never experienced in the past. Furthermore, issues with a shortened luteal phase and lower than average basal body temperature let me know that I struggled with progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance. Learning this vital information gave me the confidence I needed to advocate for my health with medical professionals when I found the courage to do so.
When it comes to reducing chronic pain naturally, I believe that it has a place in pain management. Nutrition, gentle exercise, and lifestyle modifications can decrease pain and improve quality of life. However, it’s important to remember that each individual’s response will be different and nothing replaces working with a medical professional to properly treat and manage your condition. Yet, those who desire a more holistic approach to treat and manage their chronic pain naturally are definitely will want to look into natural pain management remedies.
About the Author
Hi, my name is Kathleen but you can call me Kat. I’m a health and wellness professional turned freelance writer and content creator. You can find me on YouTube and Instagram. If you take the opportunity to visit me on my other platforms don’t hesitate to leave a message, I would love to hear from you!
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