Anyone who has ever had to manage chronic pain can testify as to how tough it can be. Modern medicine can only really offer up powerful painkillers and these aren’t the best solution for everyone. Here are four tips that any chronic pain patient can adopt to help manage their own condition.
Practice Meditation & Mindfulness
Both meditation and mindfulness are potentially very powerful techniques for managing chronic pain. Many people, including a large number of chronic pain patients, underestimate just how significant a role psychology plays in physical pain. However, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that a significant portion, if not the majority, of chronic pain can be attributed to psychological factors.
The way that you think and feel about pain can affect how it impacts you physically. Meditation and mindfulness both enable practitioners a greater degree of control over how they think and feel. Both of these techniques are useful in producing a better response to stress and worry. For many chronic pain patients, this is hugely beneficial.
Ensure You Get Proper Rest
The links between a good night’s sleep and chronic pain might not be immediately obvious, but they are certainly there. For many chronic pain patients, an uncomfortable and unsuitable bed or mattress will exacerbate their problems. The most obvious example of this is a chronic pain patient who is suffering from back pain. Anyone who has ever tried to spend a few nights on a friend’s old lumpy couch will know just how painful a bad mattress can be.
If you are finding yourself frequently waking up in the night, your chronic pain might not necessarily be to blame. This guide to the best mattresses available right now is a good starting point. You want something that enables you to get a good night’s sleep every single night. A lack of sleep will have numerous knock-on effects for your emotional and physical health, none of which are good.
Join A Support Group
Feeling lonely and isolated is only going to have negative consequences for both your emotional and physical health. Many chronic pain patients needlessly suffer alone, unsure of how to process the current situation. This only adds to the psychological strain that chronic pain patients feel and is a needless source of fear and anxiety.
A support group of other chronic pain sufferers can therefore be a valuable tool. Not only can these groups provide you with a sense of community and a connection with other people, but they are a fantastic way of generally improving your social life and encouraging you to spend more time with other people.
Find Ways of Occupying Yourself
If you are able to distract yourself and take your mind off any pain that you are feeling – even for a few minutes – it can’t make a real difference to the level of pain that you feel. When you have nothing else to focus on, even relatively minor paint can absolutely dominate your consciousness. When that pain is severe and long-lasting, it is all but impossible to ignore it unless you have something else to focus your mind on.
It doesn’t matter what this distraction is, although obviously, you should try to keep it healthy. Some people find that physical activities and sports are helpful in managing their pain, but this depends entirely upon your individual pay levels, the location of your chronic pain, and the underlying cause for it. Other people have found that things like playing video games, reading books, or even just laying back with their MP3 player, can all provide a powerful distraction from their pain.
Managing chronic pain can be a challenge for many people, especially those who are uneasy about taking powerful prescription painkillers. With the techniques outlined above, chronic pain sufferers can reduce their day-to-day pains and regain a degree of control over their lives.