Headache

CHRONIC PAIN

Chronic pain is a wide-sweeping term, often describing pain that lasts more than three to six months or pain beyond the point of tissue healing. Some forms of chronic pain can be linked to an identifiable cause, like degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis. Other forms of pain have no known or understood cause, such as fibromyalgia or neuropathic pain (nerve pain). For some, the fight against chronic pain can be a lifelong struggle, with 25% of pain sufferers developing chronic pain syndrome.

Symptoms Of Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic pain syndrome occurs when chronic pain sufferers develop more than just physical pain. Those who develop chronic pain syndrome suffer deterioration to their emotions and even to their social lives over time. Other symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety.

  • Depression.

  • Poor quality of sleep.

  • Extreme exhaustion.

  • Irritability.

  • Guilt.

  • Loss of interest in sex.

  • Drug or alcohol abuse.

  • Marriage or family problems.

  • Job loss.

  • Suicidal thoughts.

What Can I Do To Help With Chronic Pain?

Sufferers of chronic pain can improve their quality of life in many ways. Simple changes can often make a big difference to the amount of disability and suffering experienced. This includes pain management.

 

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you can consider the following steps:

  • Planning your day – making a list of things to do and places to be can help you stay on top of your pain.

  • Pacing yourself – don’t push through the pain, stop before it gets worse and return to the task once the pain has passed.

  • Learning to relax – finding something to do that calms the mind will reduce the stress of pain.

  • Taking regular enjoyable exercise –  even a small amount will make you feel better and ease your pain. It will also keep your muscles and joints strong.

  • Taking painkillers – painkillers work better alongside a cohesive plan for pain management.

  • Talking to others – telling your friends and family about your chronic pain and why your needs may differ from theirs can help with feelings of inadequacy and acceptance. Let your loved ones help you.

  • Enjoyment – enjoyment boosts your body’s natural ability to manage pain. Think of the things you enjoyed before the pain and re-introduce them to your routine.

Dealing With Stress And Depression

When the body feels as if it is under threat, it produces stress hormones that lead to anxiety and tenseness. The body sees pain as a threat, and when it is persistent or chronic, it can cause feelings of deep unease.

 

Find a way to relax as part of your pain management regime. This includes hobbies and activities you enjoy, which draws focus away from the pain.