Living with chronic pain can be so debilitating, and cause untold amounts of physical and psychological strain on sufferers. Any pain that lasts more than six months is chronic, by definition, although it can come in waves, and sufferers may experience good and bad days. It can completely affect how a person lives their life – some people are forced to stop working, stop socializing, and some can’t even make it to the store for groceries. Medical treatments exist to limit the pain, including both prescription and over the counter drugs, but many people find that they are not enough, and have to look to themselves for pain management as well. If you’re a sufferer of chronic pain, or know somebody that is, and would like to know more about how to stop chronic pain from ruling your life, read on.
#1 Learn to Manage Your Stress
Physical pain can cause a lot of emotional stress, which in turn can exacerbate the symptoms of the chronic pain you experience. Breaking the vicious cycle of stress can help to lessen the pain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise, within the limits of your capabilities, will help to battle the stress, and hopefully, have a positive impact on your chronic pain.
#2 Personalize Your Treatments
While you’re probably medicating with either over the counter or prescription pain medication, there are so complimentary therapies to choose from to work alongside. Many people find that reflexology or acupuncture are great for alleviating symptoms. We Think Health even recommend the use of hemp oil as a means to lessen the severity of chronic pain. Take some time to trial a few different ideas, and see which combinations work for you.
#3 Stay Active
There’s a real risk of becoming isolated when suffering – ensure you stay active and engaged with your hobbies and the people around you to the best of your abilities. The distraction from engaging with pastimes you enjoy can really help, and the hormones released when you’re having a laugh and surrounded by people you love act as your body’s own natural painkillers too.
#4 The Power of Positive Thinking
You’ll experience both good and bad days, but it’s important to remain positive. Focus on improvements you’re making, not things you’re missing out on. Remind yourself that you are strong and that you’re getting through it. Allowing too much negativity to invade your thoughts can lead to the stress cycle discussed previously.
#5 Create a support network
You’re not alone, many people also suffer from chronic pain, and will be experiencing similar problems to you. Look for online support groups, or people who meet up within your local area to discuss coping mechanisms but also to have a laugh. Don’t forget to ask friends, families, and professionals for help when things are getting too much. You should never have to suffer alone.
What’re Your Thoughts?
Living with chronic pain can be challenging, but it’s important to remain positive, stay active and engaged, and continue to seek out new experiences. Remember, your pain doesn’t control your life – you do.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.