If you are someone who is dealing with chronic pain, you will want to stay as pain-free as possible and will want to avoid those things that trigger the pain to be worse. While you will want to maintain a quality of life that is as positive as possible, you should take note of those things that trigger the pain to be worse.
Here are some common pain triggers you will want to avoid if you want to maintain a good quality of life:
Exposure to cold. If you are dealing with issues of chronic pain, you will want to avoid too much exposure to the cold. This could mean sleeping with a heat pad or heating blanket. It also means bundling up when you go outside, paying special attention to covering your hands if you have arthritic hands, wearing warm footwear, especially in the winter, and wearing a hat to keep your body temperature up. When you are warm, your perception of pain will be less.
Overdoing it. While you probably always have things that need to be done, it is important to avoid doing too much at one time. This means pacing yourself when it comes to housework or outdoor chores and allowing yourself to rest whenever the pain takes over and you feel you have done enough. Let your body and your pain is the guides as to how much work you can get done in any given period time.
Excess stress. People who are under too much stress will feel more pain than those who are under less stress. If you find yourself in a stressful situation, practice meditation, or just back away from the situation. When you do this, you will find that your stress level will go down as will your perception of pain. If you live a stressful lifestyle, it is time to take stock of those things in your life that are stressing you out and that you can do without. Your body will thank you for the effort.
Lacking in sleep. If you do not get enough sleep, you will have an increased perception of pain. Your body needs restorative sleep every night in order to relax your muscles. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will awake with stiff and sore muscles and you will experience more pain. Try to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night for the best in pain relief.
Excess exercise. While it is known that exercise can help people with chronic pain, it must be done carefully and you must not overdo it. Exercise such as you would find in the practices of yoga, tai chi, and qi gong, are perfectly acceptable for those with chronic pain. Trying to run a marathon or run on a treadmill every day may actually backfire on you and you will experience muscle soreness and increased pain that you could do without.
Relationship difficulties. If you are living with someone who does not understand the pain, you are going through or if you are suffering from relationship troubles, you will increase your level of stress and will feel more pain than you would if you were alone or in a more comfortable relationship.
Things You Can Do To Avoid Pain
You need to take care of your body very seriously if you are suffering from chronic pain. This means avoiding the pain triggers as discussed above and doing things that will improve your perception of pain. Follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to taking the pills you need to take for pain and any exercise prescription your doctor gives you. Exercise does not have to be eliminated when you are living with chronic pain but it must be done carefully. There are gentle stretching exercises you can even do in bed and forms of exercise that are not hard on your joints yet will leave you feeling like you have done something good for your body.
Tips To Improve Your Emotional And Mental State When Living With Chronic Pain
Improve Your Emotional And Mental State
Dealing with chronic pain can exact a toll on your emotional and mental state of being. You may be constantly stressed by your pain and may even suffer from depression because the pain is affecting all areas of your life and your ability to do the normal activities of daily living.
There are ways to improve your emotional and mental state when you are living with chronic pain. Here are some tips that may help you:
Use a heating blanket. Chronic pain is often made worse when you are exposed to the cold. If you snuggle under a heating blanket, especially with a good book, you can lift your spirits and improve your emotional state. When you are more comfortable, you think less of your chronic pain and can feel emotionally better.
Have a massage. Make sure the massage therapist knows you are dealing with chronic pain and ask them to give you a gentle massage. Massages are known to reduce pain and decrease stress levels. When you are more comfortable and have been properly pampered, you will feel better physically and emotionally.
Practice yoga. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that is good for people who have chronic pain just as much as it is good for people who do not have chronic pain. Choose a style of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, that is gentle on your joints and the rest of your body. The practice of yoga will relax you and will make you feel better on a physical and emotional level.
Positive affirmations. Use positive affirmations to reprogram your mind towards a positive mindset. Affirmations can help you accept your life as it is and this means more peace of mind and a better quality of life.
Practice qi gong. This is another ancient form of exercise brought to the West from ancient China. Initially a form of martial arts, it is a good form of exercise for people who have chronic pain. It involves smooth, fluid movements and is simple enough that anyone can learn it and it can even be practiced by those who cannot even get out of bed because of their pain. It is known to reduce stress and improve emotional health.
Attend a support group. Many large hospitals and HMOs have support groups for people who have chronic pain and other maladies. When you can share your story of chronic pain with others and get support around dealing with chronic pain, you feel better and you know that you are not alone in your struggle with pain.
Practice meditation. Mediation requires no physical activity at all and can be done sitting up or lying down. While focusing on relaxing your muscles and controlling your breath, your stress level goes way down and you feel more relaxed. This results in less thought about your chronic pain and more inner peace. The best part about mediation is that anyone can learn it and it can be done just about anywhere.
See a therapist or counselor. When you are dealing with chronic pain, it often causes depression and anxiety. These things can easily be managed when you find a compassionate therapist who can hear your concerns about the pain you are experiencing and can help you devise coping skills that can be practiced on a daily basis to improve your spirits and enhance your mental health.
Think about an antidepressant. See your doctor about taking an antidepressant if you are suffering from chronic pain and it is effecting your mental and emotional state. Some of the older, antidepressants, called tricyclic antidepressants, have been found to be useful for people who have pain issues as well as depressive issues. Even some of the newer SSRI antidepressants have been successfully used by people with chronic pain in order to relieve underlying depression associated with having pain every day.
Practice Tai chi. This is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts. It is now a practice mainly used for healing. It involves doing fluid movements in tune with your breath and has been known to reduce stress, improve balance, and improve perceptions of pain in those who are dealing with chronic pain.