If you suffer from any form of chronic pain, sometimes, no matter how much your medication helps you just tend to get sick of it especially if you’ve been on it for a while. What many people don’t know is that it hardly takes one pill for you to feel even remotely better. More importantly, what you may not realize is that all pain medications do is numbs the pain for a while and nothing more. It doesn’t treat the cause of your pain nor keep the discomfort permanently. Aside from the fact that long term use of medications can pose different kinds of side effects that can be dangerous for your health.
And then there are those people tend to look down on chronic pain because you look fine on the outside and yet you say you’re dying inside. For some reason, that’s a concept that can be hard for people to understand. What’s even worse is that you’ll hear comments like “You can’t be in that much pain” or “You just have to exercise more”. Although it’s the lack of understanding to the condition that makes them say these, it still adds to your frustrations and pain.
If you feel like you’re at the end of the rope with your pain and nothing is just helping, here are some tips that may help you deal with it without the grogginess pain meds give or any other side effects.
Exercise And Allow Ample Time To Heal
Exercise is important for those with chronic pain. But not giving your body time off from training can over exhaust your muscles and even worsen your condition, especially if you always do high intensity workouts. But if the idea of idling around doesn’t sit well with you either, better incorporate low-intensity exercises like walking and swimming, which are great for those with chronic pain or conditions that affect the joints, in between your regular high-intensity ones. This way, you get to stay active without overdoing it.
If you run a lot, you can protect yourself from injury by decreasing your mileage or take a few days off running once you start feeling pain in the area. Warm up by walking a quarter mile before you run. Run in the middle of the road where it’s flat. Make sure your shoes aren’t worn along the outside of the sole. When running on a track, change directions repeatedly.
When you’re suffering from chronic pain, you movement can get restricted. Physical therapy will help improve your range of motion, strength and flexibility. Therapists often use specific exercises and stretches with intensity depending on the patient’s particular condition.
Sometimes, the reason why you’re still suffering from chronic pain is because you’re trying to keep you mind off it. Though not dwelling on it is good, not acknowledging it isn’t a good idea either. It’s like you’re trying to ignore the elephant in the room and that’s not gonna do you any good in the long run. You have to allow yourself to feel the anxiety, fear, anger and grief that go with pain.
After many months or even years of pain and failed treatments, it’s easy to slip into feeling hopeless and that nothing can be done. But what’s that gonna result to? Is that gonna make you feel better emotionally and physically? The answer is pretty obvious. So you have to take charge with your condition. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to tell the doctor what you think and what you want, don’t be afraid to ask for stronger pain relief.
Massage from a therapist or self-massage AKA self-myofascial release (SMR) with foam rollers can reduce muscle stiffness, promote circulation and induce a state of relaxation in the muscle, although research has been equivocal. It can help break up adhesions on any part of the body that can contribute to the specific part of the body that’s in pain. It might be painful during, but SMR can be performed the night of a hard workout to remove scar tissue, adhesions in the muscle and restrictions in the fascia (a type of connective tissue that wraps around the whole body).
You can try both soft and hard foam rollers, but some people with pain find that using a soft roller is more manageable, especially when starting out with foam rolling. While rolling, if you find a place that really hurts, take a couple minutes to sit there and let tension in the muscle start to ease up. This will feel uncomfortable at first but should gradually go away as you loosen up the tight area. Remember, you should never use a foam roller to roll over a large joint like the knee, as putting too much pressure here can cause injury.
Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Aside from what you do outside your body, what you put inside your body can either make you feel better or worse. So take you diet seriously. Include more anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil, clean and lean proteins, and fermented foods that contain probiotics. Drink bone broth or use protein powder from bone broth. Add antioxidant-packed herbs and spices to your meals. Limit or avoid excess sugar, hydrogenated oils (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, even canola oil), processed/refined grains, flour products, synthetic additives, processed meats and fast food.
Have A Good Working Relationship With Your Doctor
The doctor-patient relationship must be a two-way street. Although you rely on your doctor’s “expert” opinion for treatment advice, he depends on you for accurate information on which to base his decisions. It is your responsibility to describe your symptoms as accurately as possible and to report back regarding treatment outcomes, even if unfavorable. You should feel that you can talk to your doctor, that he listens and respects you, and be satisfied that he is working competently and thoroughly on your behalf. You also have a right to change doctors if you are dissatisfied.
Even if you have already consulted your primary health care provider, seeing a chiropractor here in Singapore would also benefit you. Because they may see something that your doctor have missed since chronic pain is usually due to musculoskeletal issues which chiropractors specializes in.
Never Ignore Pain
It has become more popular to continue being active despite having chronic pain because inactivity only leads to depression and does not help the problem anyway. However, with certain types of pain, this can lead to a cycle of aggravation, sleep deprivation, exhaustion and increased pain and suffering, particularly if you are someone who typically ignores pain. So it would be best to find the balance between maintaining physical activity without aggravating your pain.
Sleeping right don’t just mean completing certain hours of shut eye, it also suggest that everything that involves your snooze time is right for you to ensure its quality. It’s necessary that you have the right mattress, proper height of pillows for your sleeping position to make sure you get your sleep well and not develop back pain and neck pain when you’re supposed to be easing them.
Make Sure You Have Adequate Support
There are people who take pride on being emotionally tough to the extent that they avoid seeking other’s support especially when they’re feeling under the weather. The reality is it’s simply ridiculous to expect yourself to be able to cope on your own with a chronic illness that robs you of your ability to work love and play. Having adequate emotional support greatly increases your ability to cope. Talking to close family and friends is vital. A family talk with your doctor of psychologist can also help by enabling them to learn more about your condition and talk about things in a neutral environment.
The lost ability to work, love and play caused by chronic pain can create feelings of guilt and failure. Become aware of your own expectations and any feelings of shame or guilt and examine them critically. Chances are you didn’t ask to be in pain. Forgiveness and letting go of guilt will help you be more open to recovery.