Low-back pain, headache, arthritis, fibromyalgia – chronic pain varies and may not leave us for years. It seems endless, interferes with work, poisons your personal life, affects your mood and memory.
When we encounter pain, our receptors react by sending signals to the brain. You can get rid of acute pain by taking an anaesthetic or just waiting for it to go away on its own. But chronic pain is very different. The brain continues to receive signals even after the cause of the pain has been eliminated. Pain caused by chronic illness can range from mild to unbearable. It is often accompanied by exhaustion or overeating, rapid fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances.
It does not matter what the pain is: if the treatment is over and the pain remains, it becomes chronic, and it is difficult to cope with this pain. A person does not recover, even if doctors do not find any signs of illness. The fact is that our highly sensitive nervous system continues to respond, even when there is no cause for pain. However, that doesn’t mean it’s only in our heads. It’s a neurological process that determines our reactions. Its mechanisms need to be understood and used to our advantage. So, what do we have to do to “defeat” chronic pain? Here are five tips on how to lower discomfort caused by chronic pain.
Our lifestyle and eating habits affect the nervous system, which responds to pain. Many people are so afraid of pain that they give up on the physical activity, but when at rest, it only increases.
Whether it is jogging, practising yoga, or completing work out, make sure to determine a plan for physical activity and stick to it. Get up at the same time and be sure to get some sleep: lack of sleep makes us more sensitive to pain and stress. To avoid harming yourself, increase the load gradually – then the body will have time to recover and adapt. Very useful, for example, hiking – a simple type of physical activity, which does not require cost and training.
Maintain Social Ties
In case of chronic pain, sometimes you want to be alone and not communicate with anyone, but remember that communication with others distracts you from the pain and allows you to forget about the pain at least for a while.
The human being is a social being, and although you do not always want to be surrounded by people all the time, social contact has been shown to have a significant impact on pain perception. Try to stay as socially active as possible and maintain relationships with others.
Control Your Thoughts
Chronic pain affects all aspects of our lives. It is complicated to look at the world positively if it does not let go for a moment. Some patients not only begin to doubt the doctors’ ability to help but also become angry at themselves for not being able to get rid of suffering. They dig into the past, looking for a reason, asking themselves what they deserve to be hurt, which leads to stress and breakdowns. However, anxiety and depression caused by pain only exacerbate the symptoms.
The only way out of this is to control your thoughts. Don’t let your spirit fall; look for advantages in your condition. Our dreams reflect what we feel. Do not forget that pain does not kill us, and it is not an enemy to be fought. The more you fight her, the louder she is.
Pick The Right Medications With Your Doctor
Once the cause of the pain has been determined, the doctor can recommend the right medicine for you. Usually, paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used at the beginning of treatment, as the main goal is to start with medications with minimal side effects.
Many individuals prefer to use natural alternatives that are safe and won’t cause severe adverse reactions, for instance, using CBD oil for pain. The 2018 review assessed how well cannabidiol works to relieve chronic pain. Studies over several years have shown that CBD has been effective in general pain management without causing any side effects. These studies have examined a wide variety of pain types, including cancer pain, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, etc. Summing up and following the results of the studies, it can be said that CBD products with its content can benefit people with chronic pain.
Also, CBD is known for its ability to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, heal injuries, wounds, and scars, regulate sleep, improve mood, and increase concentration due to positive effects and support of the body endocannabinoid system. Keep in mind that the directions for use should be strictly followed. If in doubt, consult your doctor and find out how and when to take medicine, especially if you have hypersensitivity to specific components or you are currently taking other medications. If there are any side effects or other problems, report them to your doctor immediately.
Be Condescending To Yourself
It’s one of the most effective ways to get along with pain. Meanwhile, for many people, it is not evident that they need to be kinder to themselves first, because it is much easier to reduce the suffering caused by chronic pain. It is easier for others to sympathise, but we also deserve to be compassionate.
Do not self-criticise if you have said or done something wrong. You already spend a lot of energy fighting the pain – so do not make the situation worse by self-judgment. Never forget that despite the trials of pain, you deserve to be happy. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.