More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Research into the causes of this modern day plague is ongoing, and the hope for effective treatments is stronger than ever. But we must never let the promises of the future detract us from the challenges of today. In this post, you’ll find helpful information about managing your chronic pain. Always seek a qualified medical opinion before starting any exercise or physical therapy regimen.
When Good Pain Goes Bad
People often think of pain as bringing nothing but misery and trouble. In reality, this is far from the truth. To see what we mean, imagine stepping on a sharp stick or touching a hot stove and failing to realize it because you feel no pain. You could end up with a mangled limb or a disfiguring burn because you failed to seek help or move away from the danger. Those are just two examples of countless ways in which pain serves as an early warning system, keeping us away from threats to our life and wellbeing.
Pain only becomes a bad thing if we find ourselves unable to correct its cause. This can occur when we suffer an injury that never fully heals, according to experts at the Institute for Chronic Pain. Our nerves continue to alert us to the problem, like a smoke alarm going off continuously. But there’s no way to reset the system or turn off the warning buzzer. When this happens, we suffer not only from the pain itself, but from the mental toll it inflicts. But this doesn’t mean you’re helpless.Therapists have developed a multi-faceted strategy for addressing these problems, one that focuses on understanding the condition, calming our minds, and creating a long-term coping strategy. Let’s look at each of these steps.
Understanding the Problem
Google is the world’s public library. 1.7 billion people across the globe have used the search engine at one time or another in their quest for information, including millions newly diagnosed with chronic pain. But relying on a search engine can backfire unless the patient looks at the results with a critical eye. Here are some tips for separating reliable information from questionable material:
- Consider where the website creators are getting their information. Do they rely on medical journals and other standardized sources? Or do they use personal testimonies and marketing hype?
- Ask yourself, “Is this website trying to sell me something?” The web is filled with charlatans peddling bogus “cures” for chronic pain and other conditions. Gambling your hard-earned money on these products will only empty your pockets while doing nothing for your discomfort.
Combating Pain with Calmness
A growing body of research shows that both mindfulness meditation and progressive relaxation show promise for reducing the effects of chronic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health. Neither activity requires more than a few minutes of your time every day or two. You’ll find helpful information online about starting a meditation or relaxation practice.
Coping With Chronic Pain by Creating Your Own Sanctuary
Your home can serve as a powerful ally in your battle with chronic pain when you arrange it with serenity in mind. Here are some tips to help you in this project:
- Make your surroundings as organized as possible by getting rid of unused and unneeded items.
- Organize your closets, cabinets, etc., for easy access to what you need at the moment. This will prevent stress and frustration that can worsen the effects of chronic pain.
- Set up your own “serenity zone” where you can meditate, relax, or pray. You can add candles, a meditation cushion, and objects of personal or spiritual significance. This spot will serve as an emotional anchor during times of turmoil, enabling you to better cope with your symptoms.
Living with chronic pain is one of the greatest ordeals any person can face. But the information in this post can help you to meet the challenge, enabling you to enjoy a happier and more fulfilling life. Best of luck in achieving your health and wellness goals.
Meet the Author
Jackie Waters is a mother of four boys and she lives on a farm in Oregon. Jackie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her 20s, which motivated her to make lifestyle changes to minimize the need of medications. She started throwing out harmful cleaning products and re-organizing her home so it was easier for her to manage the “bad” days. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.