3 Coping Mechanisms to Help Manage Your Chronic Pain : Waking up feeling “normal” is a blessing a lot of us tend to take for granted. Yet, when you’re constantly in pain, it can affect every aspect of your life, from the moment your eyes open until you finally get to fall asleep.
Someone with chronic pain wakes up, struggles to get out of bed, and carefully plans each movement and moment to avoid triggering a flare-up. Lather, rinse, repeat the next day.
If this sounds like you, and you haven’t been able to manage your pain yet, you’re probably at the stage where you shut down the outside world. You turn down invitations, stay at home, and barely do more than the necessities.
It’s understandable, yet, it’s not a good quality of life, and it’s unnecessary. With these coping mechanisms, you can manage your chronic pain and enjoy the world around you again.
Make a Plan for Recovery
Depending on the reason for your pain, you’ve probably tried everything from medication to physical therapy.
Good for you! Those are important parts of recovery.
But here’s the reality: If you don’t have the right combination of pieces, you’ll never make it to the whole goal of management.
The Three Parts of Management
True recovery—that is, getting you back to pre-injury shape—might never happen. Some damage is permanent. Still, with a comprehensive plan and goals, you can get to your maximum ability and learn to make the most of it.This means including all three of these healing techniques as part of the big picture management strategy:
- Treatment – Doctor-recommended physical modalities such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, yoga, injections, etc.
- Medication – Prescription pain medication, natural supplements, topical relief, or a combination of any of these.
- Mental Health Help – You’ve had a serious hit to life as you knew it. Without the right mindset, the other two parts of management won’t last long-term. Counseling, meditation, and other mental and emotional strategies are essential.
Your overall well being relies on all the parts of your body and mind working in harmony. The three pieces of this recovery plan include all of them. When one part is struggling, the other two are strong enough to keep you going.
Know Your Triggers
With a new kind of pain, it will take a little while before you recognize all the triggers. For instance, many people with migraines slowly start to pay attention to their behavior before the pain occurs.
They notice that they hadn’t slept the night before, or they had hormonal issues or skipped breakfast. Eventually, they begin to predict when they’ll likely get a migraine and prepare early enough to stop or minimize the symptoms.
Any time you end up in pain, try to make a mental note or write down what you think put you there. If you can’t avoid doing it entirely, you could take some pain medication before the behavior occurs or plan time to rest after.
Yes, you read that right.
One of the worst things you can do when you live with chronic pain is to retreat into a bubble. You’ll end up depressed and miserable, and your physical health will suffer even more.
When you become anxious, depressed, or stressed, your pain levels rise along with your body’s stress hormones. As chronic stress and pain tell the muscles to tense up and increase inflammation, the discomfort you’re feeling worsens.
How to Fill Your Time
Millions of people have to earn a living while dealing with chronic pain. If your day is full already because you’re at your job, make sure you add in some time for relaxing, too.
Find activities or places that lower your stress and make you feel at peace. What’s your favorite thing to do that won’t cause a flare-up, or if it did, it would be worth it?
Purposely plan your days off so that you’re doing things you want to do, along with the necessary errands and tasks. With something to look forward to, the mundane stresses don’t create the same level of hormone release in your body.
You can get done all the things on your to-do list the same way you always would. But knowing you have a plan for relaxing lets your body handle the work easier.
Ultimately, this serves two purposes for your chronic pain. First, it decreases your chances of depression. And second, it reduces the inflammation that triggers increased pain levels.
You’re trying to get through the day without struggling with pain, and you’re not quite there yet. It’s normal to think, at this point, that you’ll never get back to enjoying life again. Still, that’s absolutely not true.
The truth is that you haven’t hit on the right mechanisms to cope through the pain. Your problem might be permanent, but your struggle doesn’t have to be. Use these coping mechanisms to get back to the quality of life you deserve.
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Published at Sat, 20 Nov 2021 20:12:59 -0800