Guest blog by Kimberly Hayes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 50 million Americans are living with Guest blog by Kimberly Hayes chronic pain. As anyone who has ever suffered from chronic pain knows, this can be immensely challenging in a variety of small ways. It can be difficult to envisage a full and fulfilling life with chronic pain, but it is possible. There are plenty of small, simple things you can do to improve your quality of life and make things easier for you.

Re-Organize Your Home for Convenience

Chances are your home’s current organisational layout was not designed with chronic pain in mind. This is a mistake. Taking the time to re-organize your home <>
according to your needs can make life incredibly easier for you. For example, you can declutter your cupboards to make it easier to find the items you need, or you can store things you use regularly at eye level so you rarely have to bend over or reach up.

Manage Your Mental Health

Chronic pain is closely linked <> to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It can be both a cause and a symptom of bad mental health, with both conditions feeding into each other. This is why it is important for you to stay on top of your mental health through regular visits to the doctor, counselling, medication, and/or a healthy self-care regimen. It may feel like your physical pain needs to be the priority, but your emotional and mental health is just as important.

Stay Active

Chronic pain keeps many people from exercising regularly, which is
understandable, but it’s also very unhealthy. Exercise is an important part
of living a fulfilling life, as it supports your physical and mental
health, and it can also reduce symptoms
<> of chronic pain.
For those who can’t think of an exercise they are physically able to do, has a useful list
<,,20436269,00.html> of exercises
that are well-suited to people with chronic pain.

Pay Close Attention to Your Diet

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is incredibly important for everyone,
but it’s especially crucial for those who suffer from chronic pain.
Whenever possible, focus on anti-inflammatory foods at every meal; for
example, people who stick to the Mediterranean diet often experience a
with their pain, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, paying
close attention to the state of your gut health can keep your immune system
in great shape, as well as help increase your feelings of happiness. In
fact, 90 percent of neurotransmitters
— serotonin, dopamine, GABA — originate in your gut. As such, taking steps
to keep your gut healthy is an important part of building a well-rounded

Seek Out Alternative Solutions

Acupuncture is a great example of an alternative medicine practice that can
effectively help you manage chronic pain. However, it isn’t the only one.
Other alternative solutions
include massage, yoga, mind-body practices, and certain supplements. Do
make sure you look into the evidence behind these practices before
starting, but keep your mind open: they have helped millions of people
manage their chronic pain in a way that medicines cannot always accomplish.

Get Help

There are plenty of resources, both on the internet and in person, that can
help you manage the worst of your chronic pain. The Pain Toolkit is a
useful guide of pain self-management <> and
self-care, which comes recommended by the NHS. Action on Pain is a charity
dedicated to supporting those living with chronic pain
<>, including information, support, and

Finally, don’t forget to rely on your loved ones. Many people with chronic
pain feel guilty bringing up their discomfort to their friends and family,
as they feel like they are being repetitive or annoying. However, those
that love you will be supportive of you no matter what, so learn to share
with them when you need some extra help or support.

No matter how difficult things get, it is important to remember that you
are not alone. It can often feel like you are the only one going through
this, especially as chronic pain is largely a silent ailment. However,
think about that first statistic: two-fifths of the UK, or 28 million
people, are going through the same thing as you. Chronic pain is a
well-documented issue, and you will find plenty of help from charities and
health practitioners, not to mention your friends and family. By combining
this support with good self-care habits and practical changes to your
environment, you can make chronic pain manageable for a fulfilling life.