We are happy to present our readers with an article written for us by our friend, Karen Weeks of www.elderwellness.net
Living with chronic pain isn’t easy, but there are a few ways you can re-organize your home to minimize its impact on your daily life.
One of the first things you should tackle is cleaning. Overhaul your space to reduce clutter. Your focus is best spent on managing your pain, not avoiding obstacles. Start in the rooms you spend the most time in so you can relax in between projects. Keep only those things that you have used within the last year; everything else can go to the garage or, even better, Goodwill.
Rethink your space
Move living space to a single area if you live in a multistory home. Having to constantly navigate up and down stairs can exacerbate knee, foot, and back pain. Start by rearranging the furniture to make space for any other activities you typically do in other parts of the house. For instance, you can reconfigure your living room to also be used as office space or start using your downstairs guest room as your own bedroom. In the kitchen, place your most needed small appliances where they are easily accessible so you don’t have to bend and stretch to get them out of storage.
Always have water within reach
Dehydration, according to Dr. David Williams, is one of the most overlooked triggers of chronic joint pain. The body cannot produce the right amounts of joint-cushioning cartilage without plenty of water. While there is no magic number to reflect how many H2O ounces you need each day, most experts agree that about half a gallon is a good start. You can accomplish this by drinking eight 8oz. glasses throughout the day. Have a bottle of water handy in parts of the home you frequent most often so you don’t have to exert yourself to get a drink when pain limits your mobility.
Invest in a good bed
There are few things more comforting than settling in for a good night sleep. And, the quality of our sleep can affect our perception of pain. Invest in a good mattress with ample cushioning and support. If your budget allows, you may consider an adjustable mattress that can be tailored to both you and your partner’s specific sleep needs. However, there’s no reason to spend thousands of dollars. Most experts recommend sticking around the middle-of-the-road, price-wise, as more expensive does not necessarily translate into better sleep quality.
Stock the pantry with foods that alleviate inflammation
You might not realize it, but the food you eat affects more than just your waistline. Certain foods, including red meat and refined carbohydrates, can trigger systemic inflammation. To combat this unseen enemy, keep your pantry stocked with tree nuts, olive oil, fish, and fresh fruit. These foods, along with leafy green vegetables, actually help reduce inflammation. They have the dual benefit of being easy on the digestive system, so you won’t have to battle bloat while trying to sideline your soreness.
If you experience chronic pain, there’s a good chance that you take some kind of medication. You have to be careful of this because some meds can lead to addiction, and they ultimately don’t solve the problem. The tips above can help you combat your pain in healthier ways and help you steadily build toward a less painful future.