coping with chronic pain can impact each person differently. Even though two people appear to have the same injuries or illnesses they may feel and express pain differently. When pain is persistent or chronic, it starts affecting your social relationships, your ability to function at work and home, and even your mental health. A few tips discussed here may help you cope with the emotional and physical challenges you face while suffering from pain.
Learn to Accept Your Pain
When pain becomes a part of life, your role in managing it becomes really important. The best way to cope with your pain is to accept it. Constant feelings of pain may make you angry, frustrated, and sad; you must accept that the pain will still be there. It is better to manage your pain before it starts managing you.
Start Exercising to cope with chronic pain
Exercise is one of the important parts of Complementary and Alternative Medicine(CAM) and is considered to decrease the feeling of pain. Some clinical studies have proven that regular exercise can provide beneficial effects on disability, pain, and function and, improve quality of life.
If you fear that exercise may cause a re-injury or increase your pain, you may ask for advice and support from your healthcare provider. Remember to begin exercising slowly and then build up over time. This will improve your strength and your pain can decrease.
Ask for Help
If you need any kind of help, ask for it and you will realize that people are eager to help. Living with persistent pain is an ongoing learning experience. Once you learn to manage your pain, reach out to others and share your experiences. You may also draw emotional support from family and friends.
Relax Your Mind and Body
Stress and anxiety can increase your pain. Discuss with your caregiver to understand which relaxation techniques suit you (Read how relaxation can reduce your pain) Relaxation calms the mind, which in turn relieves the pain.
Know Your Limits At Work
Work is a big challenge for people with chronic pain. Sometimes you may find it really difficult to balance your job and taking care of yourself. Don’t try to do too much to prove a point. You need to recognize your limits. It is fine to do as much as you consider possible for any particular time so that you don’t aggravate your pain.
Let Go of Your Emotions
Maintain a diary or use an app to note down inspirational stories, words, and your own experiences. Write all the emotions you feel like expressing or that you have kept hidden until now. There are some chemicals (endorphins) in the body, which are called natural painkillers. These are released when you do things that you enjoy. You may consider going for a walk, talking with friends, laughing, watching a good movie, or listening to your favorite music.
Sleep Well coping with chronic pain
Proper sleep is really essential; it can make a difference in your mood. Follow some of the practices listed below to increase the chance of getting good sleep.
• Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
• Spend some time in natural sunlight every day. Sunlight is needed to make melatonin, a natural chemical inside your body, which promotes sleep.
• Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed.
• Avoid taking any kind of sleeping pills.
Record Your Pain Episodes
Do maintain a diary or a chart (an example given below) where you can record the time, intensity, and location of the pain. This can be useful during the next meeting with your caregivers.
Pain Record coping with chronic pain
|Date||Time||Description of pain||Pain level ( on a scale of 0 to 10)||Action taken|
|2013.3.15||8 am||Stabbing pain on the left side of the stomach||7||Pain relieving medication taken|