Learning some good ways of dealing with chronic pain can save your sanity when pain levels are sky high. Chronic pain is like an intrusive monster that affects every aspect of your life. Having to live with chronic pain is difficult but there are ways that can make it more manageable. Below are a few helpful tips on dealing with chronic pain that can help you enjoy life and minimize your suffering.
1. Track Pain Levels
One of the most helpful things to do when dealing with chronic pain is to keep a journal of your daily pain levels. You might be able to spot a pattern when pain levels are at their lowest. Try to do the majority of your daily tasks such as errands or household tasks during this time. On the other hand, if you can pinpoint the times when your pain is at the highest, you can minimize activity during those hours.
2. Set Limits
There will always be good days and bad days when it comes to chronic pain. One of the ways to minimize the bad days is to set daily limits on your physical activity. Your body will let you know how much activity you are able to tolerate. Many patients physically overdo it when their pain levels are low and regret it later because the pain worsens.
3. Figure out the Triggers
There are certain things that you can’t control that make pain worse, like changes in the weather. But there are also triggers that are known to make chronic pain worse like repetitive movements, standing or sitting for long periods of time, physical exertion or even cold water. Avoiding these triggers as much as possible can help minimize spikes in severe pain.
4. Read the Warning Signs
Sometimes your body will give you some form of warning that your pain levels are about to increase. Pay attention for signs in the affected painful area like increased aching, burning, muscle spasms or stiffness. If you start feeling increased pain levels, immediately stop the activity. Don’t ignore these signs because you might cause the pain to flare up if you continue whatever it is you are doing.
5. Breakthrough Pain Plan
There are times when your pain levels will spike way above your normal pain level. This happens a lot when you have chronic pain and often its totally unpredictable. Discuss medication options that will help you get through these painful episodes with your physician. Other things that can help include any form of distraction like funny movies, reading a good book, meditation or listening to music.
6. Support Groups
Seek out support groups for your specific chronic pain illness. Meeting others that go through the challenges that you do can help you learn new coping tips. Members can also offer emotional support when you feel emotionally and physically overwhelmed with pain. Most of all they can help you see that living an awesome life is possible even though you have to live with chronic pain.
7. Accept the New You
Many chronic pain patients struggle with their new reality and mourn the things they can no longer do. It’s normal to grieve for the old you so don’t fight the feelings. Acceptance will come in time. Channel those feelings in a creative outlet such as painting, writing or through another fun hobby.
There are many great ways to live a happy life even though you may have unique health challenges. Do you have another tip that can help others that are dealing with chronic pain?