Every person’s experience with chronic pain is unique. Two healthy people can have the same condition and experience pain completely differently. The amount of tissue damage doesn’t always predict the severity and type of pain experienced. Other times, someone might be experiencing chronic pain without any clear diagnosis.
How we understand and treat chronic pain is still a mystery in a lot of cases. Below, we look at what we do know and how it can help people suffering from chronic pain manage it better.
Chronic Pain is Not a Natural Part of Ageing
Many people believe that experiencing pain is normal as you get older and something you have to live with. However, chronic pain is not like wrinkles and grey hair. It’s normal not to feel like you used to when you were young. But if you’re in pain every day and it interferes with your daily activities, It’s a sign something is wrong. You should consult a doctor to find a way to relieve it.
Chronic Pain Can Trigger Other Health Issues
Chronic pain sufferers are much more likely to experience depression, fatigue, sleep problems and other health issues. These other problems often increase the pain, triggering a dangerous cycle that causes your physical and mental health to further deteriorate.
Health problems that accompany chronic pain should be treated at the same time chronic pain is being treated. Addressing your depression or sleep problems can drastically improve your quality of life, even if you continue to experience pain.
Staying Active is Important
Your physical health can have a significant influence on the severity of chronic pain. While short term rest may be recommended in some cases (such as with back pain), it’s best to keep active. Complete bed rest is one of the worst things you can do for any type of long-term pain.
Your body quickly gets out of optimal condition if you’re not active, causing even more pain when you eventually move. The key is to limit exercise when pain is intense, but keep active as much you can.
Losing Weight Can Ease Pain
If you’re overweight, losing some weight removes some of the pressure on your joints and back. Even 4 or 5 kilos of weight loss can make a big difference. Find a good weight goal to work towards in consultation with a doctor, who can suggest the best, safest ways for you to do it.
Medication Has Limits
A major challenge of living with chronic pain is that medications may become less effective as the condition progresses. This is especially true for degenerative diseases like arthritis. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can only eliminate mild pain for short periods of time. Prescription pain medications, such as celecoxib or a topical NSAID also tend to become less effective over time.
Your Attitude Can Influence Pain
While it’s important not to ignore your pain, dwelling on it can worsen symptoms. Instead of obsessively focusing on your chronic pain and how it impacts your life, keep looking for solutions in a proactive way. Ask doctors what else you can try. Some options include physical therapy, yoga or tai chi.
There are many different routes you can take to manage your pain. Finding relief from chronic pain will involve some trial and error and often isn’t as simple as taking medication every day.
Get Health Advice About Your Chronic Pain
At Releaf Clinics, our doctors can help you find the best way to manage your chronic pain. As a dedicated clinic and dispensary group, we can simplify the consultation process and make it easier for you to access the medicine you need.
Our telehealth consults allow you to access services with Releaf’s doctors via phone and video chat. Contact us today to chat about how we can help improve your health.