Chronic pain is physically and psychologically stressful, and its endless discomfort can lead to tension and frustration with your loved ones and yourself. When pain interferes with your daily activities, the urge to stop it can take control of your life or drive you to seek questionable treatments. Discover safe and sound pain management techniques to help manage and relieve your chronic pain.
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What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain lasts months or years and affects how you live. More than one-quarter of citizens in the United States suffer from chronic pain. It is one of the most common health problems presented in outpatient clinics.
Chronic pain is different from acute pain. Acute pain occurs when you are hurt, such as having a small cut on your skin. Acute pain doesn’t last long, and it eases after you heal from what caused it. Chronic pain persists long after you recover from an illness or injury.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can happen for no obvious reason. The pain can manifest in different ways, such as throbbing, stinging, stiffness, squeezing, shooting, burning, or aching. Some of the common causes of chronic pain include:
- Long-lasting illnesses like cancer or arthritis
- Diseases and injuries that cause bodily changes, increasing your pain sensitivity
- Psychosomatic or psychogenic pain due to psychological factors like depression, anxiety, and stress
How Can You Manage Chronic Pain?
Research shows that leading a healthy lifestyle can help manage and reduce chronic pain. Here are a few ways to help you cope with chronic pain:
Engage in Regular Exercise
Lack of physical exercise can lead to the following:
- Weak bones and muscles
- Stiffening up of your body
- Lack of good sleep
- Loneliness and depression
- More pain
Physical activity and exercise help you to release chemicals known as endorphins. The chemicals trigger a feeling of well-being and positivity in your brain, making you feel good and boosting your mood. You can combine physical exercise with prescribed pain management methods such as medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy to reduce pain.
Practice Deep Breathing
When suffering from chronic pain, many people get in the habit of taking shallow, fast breaths that can increase feelings of panic, anxiety, or dizziness. Focusing on slow, deep breathing while experiencing a pain flare-up can help you feel in control and keep you relaxed.
Manage Stress Levels
Physical and emotional pain are often interrelated. Prolonged pain can fuel negativity and cause increased stress levels. Coping with stress by getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in physical exercise can help you to better manage your pain.
Consult a Pain Management Professional
Pain management aims to provide pain relief, prevent disability in the long run, and restore you to your optimal activity level. Since chronic pain has varying causes and possible treatments, the best pain consultants will work to create a personalized treatment plan for you. Consultants may recommend pain management strategies such as:
- DRG stimulation for patients with focal nerve pain
- Epidural steroid injections for people with spinal canal inflammation
- Spinal cord stimulator for treating nerve pain in the legs, arms, or back
Keep in Touch With Loved Ones
Daily pain is debilitating, especially if you feel alone or unsupported. Keeping in touch with your family and friends can be beneficial for your mental health and overall well-being. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of social visits, try keeping visits short to make them more comfortable. You can also start by calling or messaging loved ones in place of a physical visit.
Take Control With Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain is draining, but you don’t need to handle it alone. Creating a healthy lifestyle and seeking help from experienced pain consultants can help you enjoy a more pain-free life. Seek help from professionals and take control of your pain management today.