Chronic pain affects approximately 60 million people or about 10% of the world’s population. In fact, it affects more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. Chronic pain is the most common reason why many people seek health care.
What is Chronic Pain
Chronic pain refers to the pain that is ongoing and lasts for over three months. This type of pain can be there all the time, and it may come and go in any part of the body. It is when the pain signals remain active in your system for weeks, months, or even years.
Chronic or persistent pain can interfere with your normal daily activities. It can affect your works, social life, and how you take care of yourself and others. This condition can also lead to sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression, making the pain worse.
Chronic pain may present in many different forms in different areas of the body. Common types of chronic pain include arthritis (joint pain), back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, neurogenic pain, and muscle pain all over.
If you have dealt with chronic pain before, you may have heard about the mind-body connection. The concept is your mind plays a role in how you perceive pain and threat. The brain sends a message using your senses to make you feel pain when there is an outside threat.
If you feel drained or exhausted from dealing with constant pain, here are six ways to relieve symptoms. These tips will help you lessen the pain you are feeling, save your energy and get back to what is important to you.
Learn relaxation techniques
Meditation and taking deep breaths are techniques that help your body relax, which may ease the pain.
There are many ways to meditate, such as yoga, body scan, mindfulness meditation, spirituality, walking, and more. But the soothing power of repetition is at the heart of many forms of meditation. Start focusing on your breathing techniques, ignore outside thoughts, and repeat a word or mantra. Find what works for you and your body.
Stress can only make chronic pain worse. Find a way on how you can reduce physical and mental stress. Having negative feelings such as anger, depression, and anxiety intensifies your body’s sensitivity to pain.
Relieve stress by listening to soothing music, remaining calm, practising guided imagery, or doing progressive muscle relaxation.
Being physically active allows your body to release mood-boosting brain chemicals that help block pain signals. If pain makes it difficult for you to exercise, start with small movements. Talk with your doctor about how you can incorporate safe movements into your daily routine.
The more you move, the more you can build and strengthen your muscles, preventing injuries and pain.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is recommended for chronic pain. Eat anti-inflammatory food such as lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. These are food choices that will keep the body strong and boost defences against pain.
Some medications work for chronic pain, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Take note that different types of medicines are used to treat different types of pain.
Your doctor might recommend a prescription pain reliever. For over-the-counter pain relievers, carefully read and follow instructions on the packaging.
Living with chronic pain
Living with chronic, persistent pain can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. Do the best you can to improve outside factors, as they can only make your pain worse.
There are pain management meditation courses in the market that are easy to follow and proven effective in helping people cope. You can also take a First Aid Course to treat other pain-related symptoms.
Learn about your condition. Understand your limits and improve them, to not bring yourself more pain. Be open to trying new ways of managing chronic pain.