Millions of Americans live in chronic pain caused by disorder, disease or accident. More than 25m suffer from health pain caused by accident or surgery. Pain is a silent disease and a chronic one at that which leaves people living in isolation and fear. But with a little bit of effort and quite a bit of research, you can keep chronic pain at bay. Here are the steps to go about it.
Steps to Overcome Chronic Pain
#1 Accepting the Pain
According to the US Chronic Pain Association, learning all about the physical condition is important. There may never be a cure for pain within your reach but acceptance is the key to curing it and managing the symptoms. Rather than wishing it had never happened to you, or awaiting a miracle cure which are common reactions to pain, and can become a trap. Instead, you need to face what has happened and find constructive ways of dealing with it. Acceptance is a gradual means of acknowledgement of the feelings and resolution of emotional and physical needs.
Going through negative emotions associated with intense pain, you need to have the acceptance to fend off symptoms by acknowledging and having control over the pain through the right combination of treatments. Support means putting through emotional support from friends and families to provide security and containment. Inner peace, lowered instances of pain, more abatement of anxiety and advanced coping skills make a difference.
#2 Getting Involved
Playing an active part in the recovery process is important. You need to collaborate with your medical practitioner and take on health care. Look beyond your pain to prioritize what matters. Setting priorities can be the way to get back to an active life and schedule your periods of vitality to get efficient outcomes.
#3 Setting Important Goals
One walks before they run. Similarly, chronic pain management involved setting goals within the power to accomplish or break bigger goals into more manageable steps. Taking the time to enjoy the success matters. The mind-body connection should not be ignored. Emotions directly affect physical states. By dealing and acknowledging the feelings, one needs to reduce stress and lower the pain felt.
#4 Learning to Relax
Pain rises with time. Relaxing is one way of reclaiming bodily control. This leads to visualization, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques to manage the pain one lives with.
#5 Exercise Is a Must
Most people with chronic pain fear exercise. Unused muscles lead to more pain than toned flexibility. As far as doctors are concerned, a modest exercise program ensures that one can perform safely. As strength building takes place, pain can decrease as confidence increases.
#6 See the Complete Picture
As one sets priorities, sets goals, asserts basic rights, manage feelings, relax and regain bodily control, the essence of this is pain should not be associated with the life center. Focus on your capacities and strengths, not your weaknesses. Grow stronger with the belief that you can enjoy a regular life despite chronic pain symptoms.
#7 Reaching Out
Nearly 1 in 3 people suffer from some type of chronic pain. Once the way to manage chronic pain becomes possible. reaching out and sharing what one knows becomes a reality. Managing chronic pain is an ongoing process of learning. We all evolve and acquire knowledge from others.
#8 Combat Misinformation
Chronic pain is a massive issue made worse by misinformation, outdated ideas, wrong ideas and beliefs as well as negative emotions. Chronic pain mismanagement is because of inability to cope. Multiple sources of pain may further cause treatment issues, and pain is dismissed or poorly treated due to the absence of external factors and such that are impossible to measure. Pain involves a range of emotions including fear, depression, and anxiety.
#9 Taking Control
After months or years of failed treatment, it can be easy to slip into the mode of doing nothing. Pain is a chronic condition which requires constant care and patients who suffer from recurrence bouts may feel angry or undergo victimization. There is often a justification for feeling in a certain way, especially if painful symptoms get worse. Rather than blaming someone or giving up, get information, communicate about your pain with your doctor and practice pain management strategies such as pacing, relaxation, stress management and regular exercise. You need to decide if you want to let the pain control you or vice versa. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and deal with the problem head on.
#10 Have An Open Communication With the Doctor
An open, trusting relationship with the doctor is important. Telling the doctor how one feels, questions that have to be responded to, listened and understanding of the same is important. The doctor patient relationship is a mutual one. When you rely on the doctor for expert opinion and advice, he relies on you for accurate information on which to base decisions. The symptoms need to be described as accurately as possible and treatment outcomes then need to be reported. One of the biggest hurdles in managing chronic pain has been underreporting of the condition. Doctor-patient relationships can be undermined by fear, arrogance, ignorance and bad communication. People may fear being labeled as weak or cribbing if they do report the pain. Additionally, underplaying the severity of the pain can be a real problem in dealing with the issue. You need to be clear that the doctor is working thoroughly and competently on your side.
#11 Don’t Ignore Pain
When it comes to treatment of chronic pain, ignoring it can be a real problem. It is only pain that needs to go away, is the erroneous belief occupying people’s minds. This is a shift from conventional medical wisdom. But, treating pain as if it were nothing can cause further aggravation too, apart from sleep deprivation, rising levels of pain, exhaustion, and suffering. If you are someone who ignores pain, you need to watch out for repetitive strain injuries. Another problem is that each type the pain comes to the fore, it leaves a stamp on your nerves specifically a type of spontaneous pain and stressor. Total inactivity is not the answer to this. Undue pain aggravation can cause a real issue.
#12 Have A Reasonable Approach To Physical Activity
Doing nothing can aggravate the pain further. Since chronic pain is caused partly as a neurological sensation, avoidance of activity cannot stop the problem. Avoidance of the activity leads to build up of waste products in the tissue, exacerbating the pain and leading to muscle wasting. At another time, frustration levels may rise and you may willfully resort to physical exercise. This means taking best rest to recover is critical. Pacing activity levels is important, which you can try out through trial and error and coaching through professional aid. Supportive guidance can help you get the motivation you need to combat chronic pain.
#13 Sleep Enough
Lack of sleep and inadequate pain management can create a vicious cycle, where you succumb to depression, irritability and fatigue caused by insomnia and waking up feeling tired. Signs your pain is not being properly managed can cause a serious problem. Coping with chronic pain, you need to improve sleep and get the energy to feel the ability to handle the pain. Relaxation, taking a hot bath, enjoying music or playing a relaxation tape before sleep can all be positive ways to induce sleep and ease the tension caused by pain. Overall good stress management, corrective mattress or posture, mild medication or even self hypnosis can work wonders.
#14 Ensure Adequate Support
Many suffering from chronic pain face isolation and alienation. Lack of emotional and social support can lead to depression, isolation and increased chances of suicide. Those who think themselves independent and don’t seek the help they need can be even more vulnerable. Negative reactions of social acquaintances can cause chronic pain suffered to hide their problem and not seek a solution. Chronic pain robs you of a good quality of life and you need the social support, whether it is a doctor, psychotherapist or support group. You need to be able to learn about your condition and work through the hurdles.
#15 Expect Many to Not Understand
Others who do not suffer chronic pain will not be able to understand what you are feeling. Because you lack visible injuries and it becomes easy for family or friends or even youngsters to not realize what is wrong, forgetting this can be a real easy thing to do for others. Don’t expect others to understand what you are feeling or going through.
Understanding Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be associated with negative emotions such as terror or fear, depending on what is believed about the pain signals. Chronic pain can also be seen as a hurdle and a nuisance. Chronic pain has a clear medical definition. According to the International Association for research on pain, pain is a subjective sensation reliant on the person experiencing it. The brain can manage the sensation of pain using techniques. Pain management therapies can help you to break yourself free from the clutches of painkillers.
Mental Coping Techniques for Chronic Pain
This involves relaxing every core of your body. Take a few deep breaths in, hold for a count of 2-3 and then release the breath slowly. Regular inhalation and exhalation relax your body and slow down the sensations, dulling the pain.
This pain management technique uses distractions to keep the mind from focusing on the pain. For example, imagine all your focus is on your hand if you are facing chronic leg pain.
This mental technique involves mindfully concentrating on imagining the part of the body that is paining as separate from the mind. Chronic pain can be removed from the mind by separating the mind from the body.
This technique involves dividing the pain into separate parts such as burning sensation, pins and needles, dull pain, persistent pain etc. If the leg pain evokes a sensation of warmth, focus on the heat and not on the hurting.
This involves a sensation of using a mental imagery to imagine a numbing sensation is being placed in the lower back. Soothing ice packs and heating pads can also help.
This technique involves imagining a strong painkiller such as novocaine or morphine being put in the area where the pain is produced. Alternatively, imagining pain relieving sensations can trigger a release of endorphins or feel-good hormones that counter the pain.
Relaxation Training and Biofeedback
This involves using concentration and deep breaths to remove tension from the muscles and release pain. Relaxation training focuses attention away from the muscles and releases the tension. Biofeedback is when you reinforce relaxation training by using special machines to control muscle tension and heart rate.
Positive Visual Imagery
Imagining healing sensations in the back can also prove effective. Use powerful positive visual imagery to cope with the chronic pain.
Herbs That Heal
When you suffer pain, vitamins, a healthy diet and low impact exercises can only take you so far. Our body needs essential dietary nutrients and herbs can provide a way out.
This is a potent anti-inflammatory. It has been well known in Ayurveda for curing pain as well as joint inflammation. Its healing power comes from a substance that gives it its characteristic color namely curcumin . Turmeric is a root that can ease the pain through curcumin that in turn lowers pain and inflammation-causing enzymes in the body. Turmeric can be added in cooking or drunk as a tea or in capsule form.
Another strong anti-inflammatory that is part of Traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for pain is ginger. Ginger heals to relieve nausea, headaches, muscle soreness, arthritis, and cramps. Make ginger tea or apply a compress of this root in the pain-ridden area.
This is one of the leading herbs to combat pain. It blocks pain. Apart from being an analgesic, it is also anti spasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It contains thirty-two potent compounds for healing inflammation. The herb alleviates pain and helps in dealing with problems such as sciatica, muscle spasms, back pain, joint pain and chronic pain illness. Oil or oregano capsules can also work. This herb has even been called nature’s morphine because of its potent anti-pain properties.
This is rich in magnesium, calcium, fiber, and Vitamins C and K. This herb also reduces inflammation, relieving pain and killing pathogens. Chewing the clove also combats inflammation and numbs pain. It also helps in application to the head or legs for battling a headache or chronic pain respectively.
This soothes the nervous system and treats chronic pain. These herbs may not be as quick as a regular painkiller but they offer permanent results. Valerian improves the quality of sleep and offers pain relief through the neural pathways.
#6 White-Willow Bark
This herb offers tremendous pain-alleviating potential recognized across history. This herb was used many decades ago to relieve pain and temperature. It also works as nature’s aspirin and wards off osteoarthritis, gout, spondylitis, menstrual cramps, RA/rheumatoid arthritis, headache and muscle pain. Dry white-willow bark can be used to brew a pain relieving tea.
#7 Devil’s Claw Root
This herb contains an active compound called harpagoside which alleviates the discomfort associated with pain.
This herb extract is topically applied to relieve pain. Comfrey compress or topical applications can be very effective in curbing the back pain.
Also known as Indian frankincense, or tree resin, it is suited for combating every type of pain from rheumatoid arthritis to headaches. Research shows this herb has proved very useful in treating cluster migraine headaches.
#10 Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Those who suffer from stiffness, back pain, cramps or pain caused by inflammation should take Omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, canola oil, spinach, eggs and Brussels sprouts.
Whether you use herbs to heal or mind strategies to equip yourself to cope with chronic pain, bear in mind that medical treatment is equally important. Don’t neglect yourself. Seek the help you need today and access cutting-edge revolutionary healthcare services to make the pain go away for good and use supplements, herbs and mind-cure techniques to boost your recovery.