What can you do when you’re always in pain?

July 05, 2016 | by Siva Krishnan, MD
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Chronic pain can change you.

The American Chronic Pain Association offers a simple definition: pain that continues when it should not.

When pain goes on for months or years, long after an injury has healed, it brings frustration, anxiety and depression.

Pain should not be a constant companion. There are a number of ways to stop pain, from meditation and yoga to medication and surgery.

There are two ways to attack chronic pain: physically and mentally.

Don’t neglect your state of mind. The American Psychological Association offers five tips that could help you feel better:

  • Manage stress. Emotional and physical pain are closely related, and persistent pain can lead to increased levels of stress. Learning how to deal with your stress in healthy ways can help you cope more effectively with your chronic pain.

  • Think positive. Positive thinking is a powerful tool. By focusing on the improvements you are making (i.e., the pain is less today than yesterday or you feel better than you did a week ago) you can make a difference in your perceived comfort level.

  • Get active. Distracting yourself from your pain by engaging in activities you enjoy will help you highlight the positive aspects of your life. Isolating yourself from others fosters a negative attitude and may increase your perception of your pain.

  • Create a support system. Going through the daily struggle of your pain can be extremely trying, especially if you’re doing it alone. Reach out to other people who are in your same situation and who can share and understand your highs and lows. Search the internet or your community for support groups, which can reduce your burden by helping you understand that you’re not alone.

  • Talk to a professional. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by chronic pain at a level that keeps you from going about your daily routine, you may want to talk with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, who can help you handle the physical and psychological repercussions of your condition.

When pain doesn’t stop, you need to figure out why. Make an appointment with a physician who understands pain and knows how to relieve it.

Pain does not have to be a constant companion in your life. Learn more about our Pain Clinic.

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