The holiday season is just around the corner, and you know what this means: parties, overindulgence in food, and gift-giving. However, if you’re living with chronic pain, you may not be in a festive mood or not up to it at all.
So, how do you survive the holiday hustle and bustle? Here are a few tips from our interventional pain management specialist, Dr. Lee James, here at Advanced Orthopedic Center serving Punta Gorda and Charlotte, Florida.
Tip #1 Stick with your treatment plan.
Take your prescribed medications according to schedule, and keep all of your physical therapy and/or doctor’s appointments.
If you’re experiencing flare-ups or worsening of symptoms, report it to your interventional pain specialist right away. Your health, comfort, and overall quality of life remain a priority no matter the time of year.
Tip #2 Get enough sleep.
Sleep can seem like a luxury for people living with chronic pain, but overtiredness caused by sleep deprivation can also exacerbate your problem.
Develop basic sleep hygiene strategies. These include getting enough sunlight in the morning; avoiding stimulants especially at night; getting enough exercise; having a quiet, dark, comfortable bedroom; and maintaining a regular sleep routine.
Tip #3 Enjoy yourself.
Albeit it can be easy to get consumed with having to juggle your chores and cope with your condition at the same, don’t forget that the holidays are meant to be enjoyed—so don’t forget to have some fun, too.
Find a few special activities that you love to do and don’t be afraid to say “no” to people. It is not wrong to make time for yourself; in fact, it is crucial for living well with chronic pain.
Tip #4 Don’t overschedule your day.
Too many shopping trips, church gatherings, or other obligations can zap your energy, leave you stressed, and consequently, exacerbate your pain. Book fewer activities, or whenever possible, space them out.
Tip #5 Mind what you eat (and how much).
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or any other inflammatory condition, you likely know what foods trigger your symptoms, specifically joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Avoid these foods, and make sure to stay adequately hydrated.
Making healthy food choices also helps you avoid weight gain, which can put a strain on your joints, make exercise a challenge, and put you at risk of developing spine problems. In addition, excess body fat can lead to inflammation which, in turn, is associated with increased pain and worsening of symptoms of chronic conditions.
Trusted Interventional Pain Specialist in Southwest Florida
Dr. Lee James is best known for not only his expertise but also for his compassion and unwavering commitment to providing hope for people in Southwest Florida who are living with chronic pain. Through the extensive range of pain management modalities he offers, such as spinal cord stimulation, facet joint injections, and peripheral nerve blocks, he helps his patients successfully break free from the movement limitations and quality-of-life issues imposed by chronic pain.