Managing Chronic Pain Through Healthy Living

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader

Many years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I also have arthritis in my knees. Multiple car accidents seemed to have exasperated my chronic pain, especially in my neck and back. Over the years it has been quite challenging to deal with so much pain on a daily basis. But I really hate taking pharmaceuticals so I have sought natural methods to deal with the pain. I hate taking medicine so much, that I would rather live with a certain amount of pain than deal with the possible side effects of synthetic medicines.;

Photo by Faithful Homesteader

I have not found a magic cure all in my search for healing, but what I have discovered is that in seeking an overall healthy lifestyle, I have managed my pain levels.  Years ago I was having so much daily pain that I could not stand on my feet for very long at all. If I was walking, it wasn’t so bad, but standing in one place was too much. I sat for everything even if everyone around me was standing. I carried a cane chair everywhere that went. Even standing in line at the grocery store was too much.

But sitting was not always the best either. Most chairs did not help my cause. So many that I encountered were too hard on my back and I was never comfortable. Standing was difficult, but sitting could be bad too. Lately, I have thought back to those days and I realized that I wasn’t having those same issues. Now I can be on my feet much longer and I can sit in an uncomfortable chair without feeling quite as bad as I once did. I attribute it to a healthy lifestyle.

Over the years I have worked to eat a much cleaner diet. I try to get plenty of vegetables in my diet. I cut my soda consumption way down. Kombucha and natural sodas with stevia have helped me with that. I eat organic whenever possible as well as grass fed meat and pasture raised poultry. I am not perfect, but I do strive to limit sugar as well. I also take supplements like fish oil and curcumin.

I notice that when I do go off the wagon, that the arthritis in my knees becomes a problem. I can go long periods of time without noticing the effects of it, but when I eat more carbs and sugar, I can tell the difference. It is a way to get me back on track because I know that’s what it takes for me to lessen the pain.

I still deal with daily chronic pain, but what I notice when I am eating well and exercising, is that I can do most of the things that I want to do. My pain is less. Some exercise routines that have helped me are Tai Chi and strength training. When I am able to do both of those consistently, I feel so much better. It feels good when I am strong. I also love to go on hikes with my dog as well. Walking and nature are a great combination.

I am never perfect on my healthy living journey, but when I look back, I can see that it has helped me greatly. I think about just how much better I might feel, if I could be even better with it. I will continue to push forward and strive to live the healthiest life that I can live.

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