Chronic Pain is defined by the Cleveland Clinic as pain that last months or years and happens in all parts of the body. It interferes with daily life and can lead to depression and anxiety.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with chronic pain that depression and anxiety get thrown into the mix. On top of literally having pain all the time, there’s now mental health issues to top it all off.
Getting diagnosed with with chronic pain due to any number of conditions is a rollercoaster in of itself. As I’m sure you know, treatment doesn’t always work to help with chronic pain and we must find ways to attempt to aid our pain.
I’ve shared it before but I have a number of conditions that cause daily chronic pain to include rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, endometriosis, plantar fasciitis and headaches. Damn, it’s a mouthful. And then of course the major depressive disorder and anxiety that only seems to increase with time.
So let’s talk about a few ways that can sometimes provide minor relief in helping to manage chronic pain. Please do not take this list as my saying this will help your chronic pain go away, etc. I’m not a doctor – just a fellow spoonie.
- Speak openly and honestly with your doctor and health care providers. They can’t help with an issue they don’t know about
- Advocate for yourself and do the research on your condition (note: it’s not helpful to Google your condition at 3am)
- Be realistic about what your goals and expectations are with your treatment plan
- Knowing your limitations based on how you feel will help to keep you as healthy as possible and avoid creating unnecessary pain
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Eat foods that aid in eliminating inflammatory or aid in joint health. There are so many foods that can help to aid in relieving symptoms
- Find support for your chronic pain. Having someone to talk to that understands what you are going through can be very beneficial. Sometimes support can look like a support group or individual therapy. Sometimes it’s someone on Instagram that is going through the same illness you are
- Exercise and move your body to the best of your ability. Sometimes that might mean chair yoga or water therapy, or it might mean a 5 minute walk around your neighborhood. Learn your limitations with exercise based on what helps or aggregates your chronic pain
I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you and I wish you as many pain free days as possible. Remember to stay hydrated and take care of yourself. Stay tuned for a list of my favorite products that help provide some relief from chronic pain.
Be well, Stef
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