In my mission to help others with pain relief, I meet many people with injuries, diseases or chronic pain. Some of these people have overcome pain by fighting their own personal battles. Jackie Waters is one of them. In her 20’s, Jackie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder. Her journey has been full of challenges in treating arthritis pain. But along the way, Jackie has learned through process of elimination, and trial and error HOW to manage her pain and find relief.
When Jackie was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she was already been climbing an uphill battle. Jackie was no stranger to physically suffering and various treatments around her pain. Like many new diagnosis, she knew the best course of action was to get informed and take control. After following Doctor’s directions, Jackie started a journey into supplemental and holistic pain treatments. Today, she has found that the best results focused on her outlook, diet and exercise. Jackie tells us that making these changes in her daily life was simpler than she thought. These changes ultimately led to reduced stress and overall pain relief.
Chronic pain is something experienced by 11% of Americans. For a common medical issue, it’s surprising there are few options in treating arthritis pain, for example, and the symptoms effectively. In Jackie’s experience, Doctor’s would typically prescribe some form of drugs like opioids. Although painkillers are highly effective at preventing pain, they also come with a slew of negative side effects including addiction. Jackie tells us she’s personally seen the devastating effects addiction can have on an afflicted person and their family. She was determined that she did not want to rely on opioids for her daily long-term pain regimen.
Meditation is More Powerful than It Seems
Meditation at it’s core is the practice of learning to use the power of your mind for a specific purpose. Your brain has more control over your body than you may think! Buddhist monks, for example, are able to keep their body temperature stable even when spending the night on bare clifftops. When practiced properly, it is fully possible to think your pain away with meditation.
Meditation requires plenty of practice before it can become effective. Once Jackie made the commitment to meditate each and every day, she started to see results. It became especially helpful on chaotic days when her stress levels made her pain even worse.
Exercise: The Most Common Drug-Free Tactic
Another great way of managing pain is through exercise, which is proven to help manage chronic pain. It also has the added benefit of being very good for you. Yoga, in particular, offers amazing health benefits with stress release, chronic pain and inflammation.
Although some days it can feel impossible to exercise when you’re in pain, Jackie’s advice is to be patient. It takes a lot of strength to get up and move when your chronic pain flares up. Practice at your own pace and try not to get upset if you miss a few workouts.
Your Diet Could Be Playing a Major Role
Like Jackie, many chronic pain sufferers’ experience inflammation as the root cause of their pain. While anti-inflammatories are useful from time to time, you should really try to alter your diet for long-term results in treating arthritis pain. It’s important to know what triggers you may have, as many foods have inflammation-fighting abilities, like tomatoes, nuts and turmeric. Other food like sugar, saturated and trans fats and refined carbohydrates can actually cause inflammation.
Jackie saw a lot of improvement in her pain level once she made the conscious effort to cut out sugar and sodium. For her, it started with a few simple decisions and food swaps to ease her arthritis pain and begin to feel better.
There are a number of options for treating arthritis pain without popping pills. And the best part is most of them don’t come with side effects, won’t result in addiction and can help you in other facets of your life. There is no one right way to handle chronic pain; it’s whatever works best for you.
Jackie Waters is mom to four beautiful and energetic boys. She lives with her family on their three-acre hobby farm in Oregon. Her goals are to feed her family as much fresh and homegrown food as possible, focus on sustainability while doing so, and practice simplicity. Her “all-natural” focus on life became a priority when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her 20s. Through careful diet and exercise, she has been able to minimize her use of pain medication. Her journey has been full of challenges, but she has learned so much and makes the most of every day.