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Sleep, exercise, and diet can impact chronic pain

Chronic pain can be debilitating. More people seek medical help for chronic and acute-onset pain that any other health issue. While acute-onset pain requires immediate medical attention and can be due to an emergency situation, chronic pain is something that patients have to live with and find ways to manage. Taking pain relievers and anti-depressants are both very successful ways to manage pain, as well as the depression and anxiety that can accompany chronic pain, though neither are sustainable ways to live and can cause side effects over long periods of use.

If you suffer from chronic pain there are many ways that you can help yourself, in addition to seeking conventional medical help. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating healthy, and using complementary and alternative medical help such as Qigong, Tai Chi, and acupuncture, can help to manage pain symptoms and provide relief. For my own back and neck issues, I've found that chiropractic has been helpful and I may also try acupuncture at some point since this seems to be the only aspect of traditional chinese medicine that recent scientific data has indicated may actually provide more than placebo effect. As for chiropractic, I was NOT a believer in any sense until I found that adjustments did seem to alleviate my neck pain. To each his own, of course.

Establishing a sleep routine, keeping a food journal to determine food sensitivities, and exercising at least 30 minutes a day have all been shown to increase mood and reduce pain (walking does wonders for my own mood and general health). Tai Chi is thought to relieve muscle cramping, while acupuncture is alleged to stimulate pressure points that can reduce pain, elevate endorphin levels and elevate cerebral spinal fluid. Qigong, apparently, has been shown to reduce pain through relaxation techniques.

Although it may seem easier to keep up an unhealthy lifestyle, taking control of your daily routine can do wonders for pain. In addition to conventional pain killers (which, if you read the news, seem increasingly to be the cause behind other problems), complementary and alternative medicine "may" have the potential to help manage pain symptoms and improve quality of life.

Having said that, though, it's my own personal belief that new problems and symptoms, and old problems that seem to be changing in some respect, should always be given a "run through" with a family physician. Better safe than sorry, particularly when its so true that, with certain illnesses, early diagnosis seems to be at least half the battle.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability lawyer fee - what does an attorney cost?
Social Security Disability appeal status
The status of your social security disability or SSI case
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI tips
Maximum SSDI SSI Disability back pay
SSI disability back pay
How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
What if the SSDI Disability application gets denied?
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions
When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application
After you file and apply for disability
Applying for disability, the application process
Tips for how to get approved for SSDI or SSI
Social Security Disability SSDI SSI Tips
Proving Social Security Disability for a mental condition
SSDI SSI Eligibility Requirements and Criteria
Qualifying for disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)
How does a person qualify for SSDI or SSI disability, how are they eligible?