4 Everyday Things That are Making Your Chronic Pain Worse

Chronic pain sucks, but you don’t need an article on the internet to tell you that. No matter what the cause is or what part of the body it’s in, chronic pain can make it hard to focus on important things like your work and your family, it shortens your temper, and it can be surprisingly hard to imagine what it would be like to not be in constant pain.

However, there are ways of at least reducing the amount of pain you feel on a given day. One way is to take stock of your habits and your living conditions and figure out whether something may be worsening your chronic pain. If something on this list sounds familiar, it may be time for a change.


Stress always seems to find its way onto lists of bad habits and health hazards, and there’s a reason for that. As an emotion, stress exists to put you into high-alert mode because your body thinks something bad or dangerous is about to happen and it wants you to be ready to react. If that’s the case, stress is a good thing, but all too often people worry and stress out about the future when there’s nothing they can do. Staying in that “high-alert mode” can weaken your immune system, wear you out, and cause chronic pain.

Doing Too Much

For most cases of chronic pain, there are good days and there are bad days. On bad days, it’s hard to get out of bed or even try using the limb that’s hurting, but on good days the pain is either gone or easily manageable. You might feel like you can go out and exercise again or maybe help a friend move, but there’s a good chance you’ll pay for overexerting yourself tomorrow.

A Bad Climate

There’s more to chronic pain than which part of your body hurts and what you do with it. Your environment can play a surprisingly active role, but if your knee aches every time a storm is about to blow in you know that already. Hot and cold packs can offer relief depending on what kind of pain you’re experiencing, but the ambient temperature and humidity can also have an impact. That’s why you should make sure your air conditioner is in good shape if you suffer from chronic pain.

A Bad Diet

You can find various lists online that tell you to avoid different foods to keep chronic pain minimal, but in many cases, the science just isn’t in yet. Still, there are a few things that are sure to help: cut back on alcohol since it can interact with medications such as painkillers, eat plenty of fresh, nutrient-rich foods so your body can treat itself, and stay away from sugar and saturated fats since they can cause inflammation.

One final bit of advice: try to avoid thinking about your pain. Pain is ultimately an emotion, and if you’re distracted you won’t feel it quite so much.

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