Best Ways to Cope With a Chronic Pain Condition
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, you may worry that you will never experience relief. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, chronic pain is described as any pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. This pain can linger for months or even years, and it makes it difficult to do all the activities you used to do when you were healthy. This leads to frustration and depression, as each day becomes another mountain to climb. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, here is some advice to help you cope.
Overcoming the Shock of a Chronic Pain Diagnosis
When you are first diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, you may experience a variety of emotions, including sadness, anger, or denial. The best way to cope is to face the reality that you have a chronic pain condition. After you accept the diagnosis, begin writing down all the questions you have about your specific condition.
Take these questions to your doctor so he or she can help you better understand what you are up against. Discuss with your doctor the various types of treatments available and how you can improve your health. You may not be able to control every aspect of your chronic pain condition, but you can certainly do your best to eat healthy, find supportive people and follow your doctor’s prescribed treatments.
Safely Manage Your Symptoms
Your doctor may prescribe medications that help treat your condition. In the past, doctors usually recommended prescription painkillers as the first line of defense against chronic pain. But now, medical professionals realize that painkilling medications are not always the best way to combat chronic pain. In fact, people can quickly become addicted to opioids, as well as misuse over-the-counter medications as well. With this in mind, doctors recommend other strategies to help deal with chronic pain.
Strategies to Make Life Easier
The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association states that one of the best ways to combat chronic pain is through regular exercise. Of course, if you have fibromyalgia or some other chronic pain condition, incorporating exercise into your life isn’t easy. But it’s worth the effort since regular physical activity has been shown as beneficial for chronic pain patients. Walking, water aerobics or pedaling on an exercise bike are just three activities that are gentler on the body. Jogging, vigorous aerobics and other rigorous exercises may cause chronic pain symptoms to worsen.
Yoga, pilates and meditation may also help you deal with the crushing symptoms of chronic pain. And gentle stretching exercises coupled with deep breathing or meditation can help you relax both physically and mentally.
If you experience sleep problems because of chronic pain, avoid consuming too much alcohol. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can cause your chronic pain condition worsen. If you’re a smoker, kick the habit, as smoking makes chronic pain worse, too.
Additionally, it might be worth trying an alternative treatment like massage or even acupuncture, an ancient Chinese healing therapy involving the insertion of tiny needles at specific areas of the body. Studies have shown that these types of alternative therapies contribute to the easing of chronic pain symptoms.
When you have chronic pain, it’s important to create a home environment that’s healthy and peaceful. You can do this by organizing your home. Decluttering by getting rid of items you don’t need, rearranging your closet, and cleaning out cabinets can actually help reduce stress in your life. Consider creating a serene meditation space in your home so you can practice relaxation techniques to help you cope with your chronic pain. Recruit family members and close friends to help you tackle the organization of your home so that you don’t exacerbate your pain symptoms.
When you are diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, it can lead to frustration and sadness. Day-to-day living is a constant challenge as you struggle to find ways to deal with sore muscles and joints. But if you work with your doctor to find safe ways to alleviate your pain, you can overcome many obstacles associated with your condition. By using a combination of regular exercise, meditation, lifestyle changes, and other natural treatments, you may find the right recipe for relief that will help you deal with chronic pain.
Author: Jackie Waters