Many people live with chronic pain. Coping with the daily challenges can be tough and when your pain is life-changing you may struggle with acceptance of your new reality.
The first step in learning how to cope with chronic pain is to be thankful that you are alive. Telling yourself that things could be worse may not seem helpful but it is. Truth be told, your life could always be worse than it is.
We all have different levels of tolerance when it comes to pain and with many chronic conditions; people may doubt how real your pain is. You need to build up a thick skin when it comes to the reactions of others to your chronic pain. No one knows what it is truly like to live your life.
If you have a health care provider that you trust then you are truly fortunate. You need to have someone to go to that can help steer you towards options for pain management. In traditional medicine, pain management often means narcotic pain medication.
For someone who is in chronic, almost daily pain, narcotic pain medication usage can lead to dependency. There is a huge problem in the country with people becoming addicted to prescription pain medication. As someone who has tried prescription pain medication to manage chronic back pain symptoms, I found that I am better off not taking them.
It is a highly personal decision whether or not to use prescription pain medication. As a chronic back pain sufferer, read Living With Chronic Pain , I know first-hand how easy it can be to become addicted to pain medication even when it isn’t helping with your pain.
When you suffer with chronic pain you are desperate to find some kind of relief. I encourage anyone who lives with chronic pain to explore alternative treatments. Many people find a reduction in their pain by getting a massage, acupuncture treatments or even energy healing such as Reiki.
Following a healthier diet, participating in a form of exercise regularly and keeping your mind healthy by practicing meditation can help you to cope better with chronic pain. Depression is common in people who suffer from chronic pain and a healthier lifestyle can reduce your depression symptoms.
There are still going to be days where your coping techniques are going to fail you. On these days instead of fighting, giving in and doing what you can to make yourself comfortable is all that you can do. This is where acceptance of your new reality comes in. You can find your inner strength to deal with your pain which will work most days but other times you need to accept your “bad pain day” and adjust yourself to it.
Water therapy, ice packs or heating pads can help you to get through the bad days. Sometimes pushing yourself a little and maybe taking a walk can help. Try and be good to yourself and do something that will help you get through the pain.
Distraction is helpful. A hobby or doing an activity that you really love can make your chronic pain more bearable. If you have a day where you just cannot seem to distract yourself and you can just lay on a heating pad and veg out to a good old movie; do it.
Often people who have chronic pain fight against it when they shouldn’t. Listen to your body and follow its lead. Managing and learning how to cope with chronic pain takes time and acceptance.
Try everything until you find the methods of pain management that work best for you. Above all, never give up hope that you will find that way of coping with your chronic pain and improve your quality of life.
Read more coping skills here