If you suffer from a condition that causes chronic pain, you know all too well the toll it can take on every aspect of your life. Even the simplest things can feel like monumental tasks; the emotional and mental toll is often great, which just intensifies the physical sensations. While you may not be able to make your pain go away completely, there is hope. There are several ways to help deal with chronic pain, and with a bit of openness and experimentation, you can find a combination of strategies that offer optimal relief. Here are just a few worth considering.
Meditation can be helpful in dealing with chronic pain in a couple of different ways. First, it is an amazing tool to combat stress, which as you probably know, just makes your pain worse, and may even serve as a trigger for it. Secondly, meditation helps us shift perspective on what is happening in our life, and allows us to see that all the thoughts and feelings that come up each day are really not us, they are separate from us. When this happens, we look at our life in a different way, we are more opt to observe what we are thinking and feeling, and we don’t get as wrapped up in everything. When we do this, our sense of suffering, which is borne of how we view what is happening to us, and not the actual events, eases greatly. Reduced suffering reduces the intensity of pain. It is still there, but it doesn’t feel as overpowering.
Start Tracking Stress Triggers
Our emotional state has a huge impact on pain levels, and how we feel about our pain itself. For the most part, we are very out of touch with ourselves, and what is causing our stress and emotional upsets. We just know we feel badly, but don’t always know exactly why. When you start tracking what really seems to worsen your pain, you can take a more powerful role in minimizing it. You can modify behaviors, alter your routine, and make other changes in your life that will support your emotional well-being and reduced stress.
While exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you have chronic pain, it is one of the best things you can do. First off, the physical deconditioning that comes with limited physical activity will worsen pain over the long-term. Second, exercise releases endorphins, those wonderful chemicals that naturally soothe pain and boost your mood—don’t ever underestimate the link between being happier and improvements in physical conditions, including chronic pain.
Work with the Right Doctors
When you have chronic pain, it is important you work with doctors who are skilled in treating it specifically. A general practitioner may have the core knowledge to assist you, but optimal relief will come from working with pain specialists. There are many institutions that do nothing but treat patients for chronic pain, such as the Tucson Pain Institute. These professionals have special training and a wealth of knowledge that a regular doctor likely won’t.