Over the course of our lives, at some point we are going to experience pain, but what about when we or a loved one is struggling with chronic pain? Below are some tips that can help alleviate chronic pain:
Examine how and when the pain flares up.
Often, pain can have emotional roots. For example, does the shoulder injury you have tend to flare up right before an exam or a pressing work presentation? It is very likely you may be experiencing anxiety, which is causing the brain to send messages throughout your body bringing more pain signals and attention to your shoulder. It is very much tied to your flight or fight response.
Keep track of the pain.
Write in a calendar or journal how your rate your pain on a scale of one to ten (ten being excruciating). Look back at the week or month and observe any patterns or changes in your regular routines. If you notice that your week or month was too crazy, find ways to reduce the workload on your schedule. This will give your body a better chance to heal and reduce cortisol levels.
Visit a health practitioner and choose the modality that works for you.
Some people swear by massage therapy and others prefer physiotherapy. Chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, reiki practitioners all have great and diverse methods to alleviate pain. It may take a few appointments or a few months to experience lasting results. It all depends on the depth and severity of the injury.
It has been proven to help reduce pain, especially emotional pain. Therapists have training to assist clients in gaining the tools to manage their emotions. Once you are able to reduce some of the psychological distress, it is very likely that you be able to take concrete steps towards your physical healing.
Take advantage of the better days.
Some days will be harder than others, but you can work with this pain. On the days that you feel a ‘5’ out of ‘10’ and are feeling reasonably well, take advantage of it. Do the activities that you enjoy doing, spend time with your family and friends, and make sure to attend to yourself.
Your experience with pain is likely to teach you more about your body and help you tune-in to it more keenly. When people know and understand how the muscles interact and move, it can also help with chronic pain. Living with pain can be a very unpleasant experience, but it can be managed and you can take steps to improve your health.