Living with chronic pain can impact your life in a big way. While all illnesses and injuries make living difficult, those that people can’t see are particularly hard to live with. You can often feel underestimated or misunderstood, which only takes a bigger toll on your emotional wellbeing. Whether it comes as a result of an injury, illness, or unknown causes, chronic pain can last for months or years and affects millions of people all over the world. If you’re looking for ways to make life easier in spite of your chronic pain, here are ten of the best tips to get you started.
- Keep A Pain Log
Rather than try to tackle your chronic pain alone, you should seek help from a doctor. They can provide a lot of support and might even be able to give you a diagnosis. To be able to treat your pain effectively, however, you doctor must know exactly how you’ve been feeling between visits. Keeping track of your pain makes it much easier to tie it to certain events or activities. Because of this, you should keep a pain log and take it with you every time you go to visit your doctor.
- Aim To Exercise Daily
The last thing that you likely want to do when you’re hurting is move about a lot. However, exercising through the pain can prove to be incredibly beneficial. The reason for this is that physical activity triggers the release of endorphins. As well as combating feelings of depression and anxiety, these chemicals can also reduce pain. If you’re unsure about what exercises to do, then speak to your doctor. They should be able to advise you on the types of activities to try.
- Eat A Healthy Diet
Everyone knows that a balanced diet is vital for good health, but it is also important in pain management. If you eat too many unhealthy foods, you’ll fail to properly nourish your body, which will make your chronic pain much worse. Your diet should consist of plenty of vegetables and fruits, as well as proteins. It can help to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your meals too, as well as stay away from inflammatory ones, such as red meat, wine, and dairy.
- Research Pain Relief Options
Chronic pain, unfortunately, doesn’t have a quick and easy solution. After all, if it did, no one would be in pain anymore. Instead, different things work for different people and often in varying degrees. For this reason, you should research the various pain relief options and try out a few. Massages, CBD oil, and acupuncture are all known to help some people deal with their chronic pain. The trouble is, because there isn’t enough research, your doctor might not suggest them.
- Kick That Smoking Habit
Anyone who smokes will argue that nicotine relieves their chronic pain. Unfortunately, this belief isn’t quite right. While smoking a cigarette might alleviate your pain for a short while, studies have found that it can actually make chronic pain worse in the long run. This is because smoking makes it harder for oxygen-rich blood to reach your tissues and bones. Although it probably won’t be easy, kicking your smoking habit is one of the best things that you can do for your pain.
- Join A Support Group
One of the worst things about chronic pain is that it can leave you feeling incredibly alone. Unless someone else has experienced it, no one can truly understand what you’re going through. Thankfully, there are millions of people out there dealing with chronic pain too. There are even support groups for those with the condition. Attending a support group allows you to share your symptoms and day to day activities, which could potentially help you, as well as other attendees.
- Educate Those Around You
Although having the support of others living with chronic pain can be helpful, sometimes you just want your loved ones to understand. Rather than accepting that they never will, you could try to educate them. Sharing the spoon theory might help friends and family understand a little of what you’re going through. They’ll never fully be able to comprehend it, of course, but they don’t necessarily need to. All that they need to do is understand it enough to support you fully.
- Pick Up A Hobby
Unless you find some way to distract you, pain can begin to take over your entire life. Because of this, you should try picking up a new hobby. There are many activities that you might want to consider, from painting and pottery to learning a foreign language. By continuing to do things that you enjoy and are passionate about, your brain won’t be able to think of only pain constantly. This will allow you to enjoy life more and live much happier overall.
- Limit Your Life’s Stresses
While chronic pain itself can cause stress, you must do all that you can to limit it in your life. The reason for this is that stress can negatively impact your body, resulting in muscle tension, which will intensify your pain. There are many different things that you can do to combat stress, including exercise, meditation, listening to music, and journaling. You might also want to go for massages or try guided imagery. Nothing works for everyone, so test out different techniques.
- Maintain A Positive Outlook
Even when you’re a naturally optimistic person, remaining positive after months or years of being in pain is going to be difficult. Everyone has their bad days, but overall, you should try to maintain a positive outlook. Instead of focusing on the negative things happening in your life, like the pain, you should be grateful for the positives. Keeping a gratitude journal can be incredibly helpful. You’ll find yourself much happier and a lot more relaxed if you are a little more thankful.
Living with chronic pain will never be easy, but, hopefully, the tips above can help you in some way.