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Practical New Year’s Resolutions to Manage Pain

A Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals for Pain Management

As the year draws to a close and we begin to reflect on the past year, it's also a time to look forward to the new year and set goals for ourselves. For those living with chronic pain, setting New Year's resolutions can be a great way to take control of their pain and improve their overall health and well-being.

What are New Year's Resolutions?

New Year's resolutions are goals people set for themselves to achieve in the new year. They can be anything from losing weight to quitting smoking to learning a new language.

Why Should I Set New Year's Resolutions for Pain Management?

There are many reasons why setting New Year's resolutions for pain management can be beneficial. Here are just a few:

  • They can help you to take control of your pain. By setting goals for yourself, you can take a proactive approach to managing your pain.
  • They can help you to improve your overall health and well-being. Managing your pain can help you improve your sleep, your mood, and your energy levels.
  • They can help you to stay motivated. Setting goals can help you to stay focused on your pain management plan.

How Do I Set New Year's Resolutions for Pain Management?

When setting New Year's resolutions for pain management, it's important to be specific and realistic. Here are some tips:

  • Identify your pain goals. What do you want to achieve with your pain management? Do you want to reduce your pain intensity? Improve your range of motion? Increase your activity level?
  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, a SMART pain management goal might be to reduce your pain intensity by 20% by the end of the year.
  • Break down your goals into smaller steps. This will make your goals seem less daunting and more achievable. For example, if your goal is to increase your activity level, you could start by walking for 15 minutes three times a week.
  • Get support from others. Talk to your doctor, a pain specialist, or a friend or family member about your pain management goals. They can offer support and encouragement.

Practical New Year's Resolutions to Manage Pain

  • Get regular exercise. Exercise can help to reduce pain and improve your overall health and well-being. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can worsen pain. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight loss plan.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Aim for a diet low in processed foods and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Get enough sleep. When you're well-rested, you're better able to cope with pain. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Manage stress. Stress can worsen pain. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
  • Communicate with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your pain and your pain management plan. They can help you to find the best treatment options for you.

Additional Tips for Setting New Year’s Resolutions for Pain Management

  • Set realistic expectations. Don't expect to be pain-free overnight. Pain management is a journey, and it takes time and effort.
  • Be patient with yourself. There will be setbacks along the way. Don't give up.
  • Celebrate your successes. Take pride in your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Achieving your pain management goals can be challenging, but it's possible. By setting SMART goals, breaking them down into smaller steps, and getting support from others, you can take control of your pain and improve your life.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, a National Spine & Pain Centers affiliated pain management specialist can help. They will develop a treatment plan to ease your pain by getting to the root of the problem. Find a location near you.

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