Although it may sound counterintuitive, the old adage ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ applies to chronic pain. Many people are surprised to learn that, not all, but many cases of chronic pain can in fact be prevented.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent chronic pain:
- Don't ignore acute pain. Make sure to pursue adequate and prompt treatment when experiencing acute pain.
- Engage in a healthy lifestyle. Ensure that you include regular exercise, good nutrition and weight management in your regular schedule. It is also important to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
- Maintain strong social supports. Stay connected to your family, friends and co-workers.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep restores your energy so that you can better manage pain.
- Reduce your stress levels. Get organized, use stress management techniques and plan ahead to reduce stress both at home and at work.
- Update your work station. Make sure you have good ergonomic design in your workplace.
- Use appropriate headrest and seatbelts in motor vehicles. Using your head restraint appropriately can reduce the chance of whiplash injuries in rear-end collisions by 35%.
Avoid high-risk sports and other hazardous activities.
While prevention is very important, what do you do if you are already experiencing chronic pain? Your next step will be to seek treatment. We've got some tips to help.
Last Updated: July 5, 2011
Reviewed by: Marc White PhD, Scientific & Executive Director, CIRPD