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5 Bad Habits That Are Worsening Your Chronic Pain To Avoid

Updated: Jan 22

Regardless of whether you are dealing with back pain or musculoskeletal pain, there is no denying that chronic pain can have a significant impact on your quality of life – affecting your work performance, quality of sleep and more.

Addressing and managing your chronic pain is the key to restoring your quality of life. Of course, professional medical help is the best way to do this. In saying that, there are also some ways you can manage your pain on your own, such as pinpointing any bad habits that may be aggravating your condition and eliminating them.

In this article, we explore 5 bad habits that could be worsening your chronic pain that you should avoid.

1. Smoking

It is no secret that smoking exacerbates chronic discomfort and pain. According to studies, smokers are approximately 3 times more likely to develop persistent back pain, and many other pain conditions. This is because tobacco and nicotine – which are present in cigarettes -- reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to your muscles, which is necessary for effective muscular use. Moreover, smoking can lead to fatigue and the development of other diseases, which would make it harder for the body to heal itself.

2. Stress

We all experience stressful periods in our lives. Stress is inevitable and completely normal. However, chronic stress may exacerbate chronic pain. Your body releases cortisol when you’re under a lot of stress, which can cause inflammation.

Besides this, when you are stressed, your heart rate will increase, which makes you breathe quicker and makes your muscles tense. Stress can also lead to agitation and anxiety, which are known to amplify pain sensations.

3. Poor diet

You have probably heard of the “inflammatory diet”, which consists primarily of junk food and promotes inflammation.

Although refined sugar and saturated fats can be a treat, they do not provide your body with the energy or nutrients it needs to function properly. Research suggests that a healthy, balanced diet may be one of the greatest ways to manage chronic pain. A bad diet can cause muscle soreness and pain due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

4. Leading an inactive lifestyle

Living a sedentary lifestyle can increase muscle stiffness and fatigue. Additionally, it may put greater stress on your joints. Muscles that are hardly ever utilised gradually lose their strength and endurance. Because weak muscles are far less effective, and you will be more prone to sustaining injuries.

Regular exercise helps maintain your muscles and joints and assists in naturally minimising inflammation. Exercise will also help you keep in shape, which is beneficial for pain, as being overweight can exacerbate it.

5. Ignoring your aches and pains

Let’s face it – many of us are guilty of pushing through pains and aches in order to carry out our daily tasks. However, if some injuries are left untreated, they may cause more serious damage and necessitate invasive treatment.

Thus, it would be best that you seek professional help if you experience any discomfort during particular activities or even while you are resting. This will help you get to the bottom of the cause of your pain to manage it before it develops into something severe.


If you engage in any of these bad habits, it might be time to make some minor lifestyle adjustments. Remember -- your lifestyle has a direct impact on your general health.

If your pain and discomfort have persisted for some time, consider seeking professional medical care from a pain management clinic such as Affinity Pain Clinic. We are a specialist for headaches in Singapore that strives to provide each patient with current evidence-based therapy to enable them to live better every day. Our specialist, Dr Daniel Phang, is a certified pain management physician and anaesthesiologist who is proficient in managing pain conditions – from musculoskeletal to nerve pain treatment in Singapore -- through the use of image-guided intervention.

Thus, no matter if you are looking for sport injury treatment or muscle tear treatment, we will be able to provide you with an individualised solution to help address, manage and treat your pain effectively.

For more information or for further enquiries, feel free to contact us today!


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