People living with chronic pain can find every aspect of their life is affected. From sleeping to working, relationships to mental health, nothing is left alone, and people can find it truly challenging. While the very nature of chronic pain means that the source is tough to treat, it is possible to treat the symptoms to some extent. Different people find a variety of ways to treat their symptoms, and it can vary widely from person to person. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, here are seven things you can do to help alleviate and manage your symptoms.
- Address your mental health
Mental health and chronic pain are intrinsically connected. The isolation that many people experience as a result of the pain and exhaustion they experience can cause severe depression and anxiety which, in a harsh, vicious cycle, can cause the chronic pain to worsen. It’s a tremendously difficult cycle to break, but by carefully monitoring your own mental health, it’s possible to ensure you do not fall into this cycle. Managing your stress is the first way to do this – stress and chronic pain are unfortunate bedfellows, so it’s important not to allow this to happen to you. Keep your responsibilities to their minimum level, and avoid biting off more than you can chew. When things become too much, always ask for help – your health is more important than anything else, so don’t let work or other responsibilities come first.
- Understand your medication
Chances are you’ll be on a few different bits of medication to manage the cause of your chronic pain. Understanding how this medication works allows you to communicate fully with your doctor regarding your needs, and will also help to manage side effects. It also allows you to understand which complementary therapies might work, such as reflexology, acupuncture, or medical marijuana (if it’s legal in your area) which can be easily administered with enail box mod attachments for e-cigarettes. Speak to your doctor before you invest in any of these, but express an interest in trying them out.
- Exploit your body’s natural pain relief
The human body has a great ability to treat a certain amount of pain on its own. While it probably won’t be able to rid you of it altogether, a little bit of natural pain relief won’t hurt. Light exercise is a great way to encourage your body to release endorphins, which are the hormones that improve your mood, with the added bonus of blocking pain signals to the brain. Exercise also keeps your blood pressure down, your weight at a healthy level, and reduces your risk of heart disease or diabetes, so it’s a win-win situation.
- Find a support group
Feeling isolated is a very natural part of the chronic pain, especially as it can be difficult to get out and socialize like you did pre-illness. Finding a support group of other chronic pain sufferers allows you to surround yourself with people who are understanding about what you’re experiencing, but who can also offer advice for treatment and coping mechanisms.
- Try to eat well
Eating a healthy diet not only reduces cholesterol and the risk of diabetes, but it can even help you to feel better more immediately. A low sodium, balanced diet of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and lots of fruit and veggies will give you more energy, and make you feel more healthy while your body isn’t at its best.
- Keep track of everything
Seemingly innocuous things can affect your mood and pain levels when you’re suffering. Keeping track of diet, exercise, energy and sleep, and the resulting pain levels allow you to monitor the cause and effect of your actions. This is useful information for both your doctor, who can use it to understand your condition better, and yourself, who can use it to better manage your condition in the future. Keeping it all in a handy journal or on a useful app, and regularly looking for patterns in the data means you can start to draw correlations and change how you manage your pain.
- Explore meditation
Many chronic pain sufferers find that meditation and deep breathing techniques are a great way to manage symptoms. They help to take the tension out of the muscles, which can ease pain and release stress. Focussing on deep, long breaths, or the repetitive beat of the heart, allows sufferers to distract themselves from the pain and become mindful of their body in other ways, which can have great long term benefits when explored for any significant length of time.
Managing chronic pain isn’t easy, but it is possible – give some of these a go and let me know what you think.