Get enough sleep
If you are tired
during the day and have trouble sleeping, try to:
- Set a bedtime and a wake-up time—and stay
with these times, even on weekends. This helps your body get used to a regular
- Get some exercise during the day.
taking naps, especially in the evening.
- Avoid drinking or eating
caffeine after 3 p.m. This includes coffee, tea, cola drinks, and
Deal with problems right away
Treat medical conditions and mental health
concerns early, before they get worse and become harder to treat.
health conditions (such as
shingles) or mental health problems (such as
anxiety) can make chronic pain harder to
Get regular aerobic exercise—such as swimming,
stationary cycling, and walking—to build your strength and health.
exercise may be especially helpful in reducing pain that gets worse during
weight-bearing activities, such as walking.
Talk to your doctor before you
begin an exercise program. Start slowly and increase your efforts bit by bit.
If your joints are stiff, try taking a warm bath or shower first to loosen up.
Also, do some stretching exercises each day.
Schedule your day so
that you are most active when you have the most energy. Learn to move in ways
that are less likely to make your pain worse.
Practice healthy habits
- Eat a
balanced diet. Good nutrition will help you stay
healthy and strong. For more information on good nutrition, see the topic Healthy Eating.
- Stop smoking. Smoking may affect your level of
pain and may reduce how well your chronic pain treatment
For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
stress. Try a relaxation therapy such as
breathing exercises or
For more information, see the topic
Think about tools that may help
Assistive devices, such as walking canes or doorknob extenders, may help you do your daily activities. These devices can help you to be more mobile
With self-massage you can help relax your own back muscles using a tennis ball.
Caregivers need care too
If you are a caregiver for a person who has chronic pain,
your own stress and worry can also cause you to have symptoms of depression,
vague body pains, digestive disorders, or headaches.
Experts say that it is
important to take care of yourself, too, and not to feel guilty about it. For
more information, see the topic