When you live with a chronic pain condition, you know exactly what it means when we say that chronic pain takes over your life. As an ever-present discomfort and inconvenience, it’s understandable that such a condition would have tremendous impact on the daily existence of the sufferer.
Here’s a sample timeline of changes often experienced as a result of chronic pain:
- Pain sets in, either due to traumatic injury, physical deterioration or underlying physical condition.
- Typical daily activities are altered in order to avoid exacerbating the pain.
- Regular routine is disrupted as the pain sufferer adapts to new ways of performing daily tasks.
- Overall lifestyle begins to be affected by the changes made in daily activities and routines:
a.) Lifestyle may become more sedentary as energy is drained
b.) Increased disconnect from social relationships
c.) Emotional strain and isolation grow more intense
- As a result of all these changes, pain sufferers may experience depression, anxiety, anger, stress and other mental disorders, which further intensifies the pain symptoms that started the life-changing cycle to begin with.
These examples illustrate a typical progression of real-life changes taking place in many chronic pain sufferers. And from the onset of the pain to the culmination of its life-altering changes, it’s easy to see how pain conditions can transform a person into someone else entirely.
While it’s understandable that pain sufferers sometimes resign themselves to accepting this new ‘normal’, it does NOT have to be that way. By recognizing these pain-related issues and actively working to avoid them, the sufferer can take back their life from chronic pain.
Here are a few tips for hindering the lifestyle impacts of chronic pain:
- Try to get some form of daily exercise
Even if your pain condition prevents you from performing certain physical activities, it’s worth a discussion with your pain physician to learn what exercises are safe for your individual situation.
Movement will not only help to keep your body more supple, the natural endorphins from exercise will assist in elevating your mood.
- Reduce stress
You’ve probably heard this innumerable times, but it’s true that stress can ravage a mind and body, and contribute to a significant increase in chronic pain symptoms. Reducing stress will benefit not only your physical condition, but also your emotional outlook and mental capacity to cope with your pain.
There are numerous ways to diminish stress, whether by deep breathing, meditation or other beneficial exercise. Find what works for you and do yourself a favor by sticking with it consistently.
- Eat a healthy diet This is another concept that really isn’t ‘breaking news’ anymore, but important to include because it has a truly measurable impact on physical and mental well-being. The right foods can help to heal the body, ease pain, and facilitate a more pleasant emotional disposition.
- Cut back or Quit Alcohol and cigarettes can worsen chronic pain and interfere with critical sleep cycles. To help control and better cope with your pain, cut back on drinking and smoking, or better yet, cut them out of your life altogether.
- Take your mind off your body We realize this is more easily said than done when it comes to persistent chronic pain, but it can be done, to varying degrees. You CAN refuse to let chronic pain take away the things that bring joy to your heart and peace in your mind.
Whether it be a hobby you truly love, such as gardening or painting, or connecting with people whose company you enjoy, make a conscious effort to engage in what makes you feel happiest. Set goals, make plans, stay busy and connected… these actions will help distract you from your discomforts, and ensure that pain doesn’t render your life unrecognizable.
Has Chronic Pain Taken Over Your Life?
At Florida Pain Relief Centers, we want to help you take back your life so you can once again enjoy the activities and connections you love. Our board-certified pain experts will provide you with comprehensive, personalized care to determine the most effective treatment option(s) for your individual pain condition, and help you find the best possible solutions for getting back to a pain-free lifestyle.
If you are tired of living with chronic pain and want more information about options for minimizing or eliminating your suffering, contact Florida Pain Relief Centers today at 800.215.0029 or visit www.yourpainreliefcenters.com to set up a consultation online.