In order to effectively cope with chronic pain, it truly does take a village.
Even the most independent people need help from time to time, especially with something as monumental as the quest for chronic pain relief. Thankfully there are plenty of resources in place to assist you in this process.
Finding outside support to guide you with your personal pain relief efforts is crucial. This guidance not only allows individuals to learn what they need to understand about their pain, but also offers people a beacon of hope in what may otherwise be a lonely and difficult journey.
In addition to taking advantage of resources around you, here are three other mistakes you are making by dealing with your chronic pain alone:
People who have been living with chronic pain for a long time may have developed a habit of managing their pain this way. Perhaps this practice started as an effort to “get ahead” of an overly painful flare or to lessen their emotional discomfort in response to certain symptoms.
Either way, this can be quite damaging to the body and mind. Not only does this dull a person’s body awareness and their ability to recognize environmental triggers that aggravate symptoms, but this also lessens their sensitivity to even mild pain.
In the moment, you may feel a sense of relief from pain medication at a time like this. But the long-term effects of this habit impede a person’s ability to understand where their pain comes from and how to lessen its impact on their life.
This pertains to any aspect of your life, since the impact of chronic pain extends far and wide. It is important to plan ahead, giving your body and mind what they need to deal with chronic pain. For example, don’t wait until the last minute to refill medications, and this isn’t just limited to pain medications. This can truly hurt you when you need your pain meds the most, but it also throws a wrench in the formation of a consistent wellness routine for chronic pain relief.
Similarly, people may think the best way to deal with a jam-packed social schedule or many household responsibilities is to load up on pain medication and get everything done at once. This is not only bad time management, but a surefire way to leave your body in excruciating pain for many days after the “work” is done.
While there are some general rules that people should follow to achieve chronic pain relief, individuals are largely unique. This means that what works for one person may not work the same way for someone else.
The best way to understand what your body positively (and negatively) responds to is by tracking symptoms such as pain levels, swelling, fatigue, sleep quality and quantity, mood, behaviors, and physical stamina.
Environmental factors that you should track alongside these symptoms include: water and caffeine intake, alcohol intake, diet (including snacking), exercises and stress levels.
In short, there are many ways that you may be worsening your chronic pain and not even know it. By tracking symptoms, spacing out responsibilities, and taking pain medication only when you truly need it, you are poised to regain control over your pain.
An effective complement to these three healthy practices is support from a pain relief community.
Pain Mentor offers the guidance you need as you venture further into your pain relief journey.
You can also add a fourth healthy practice by working with a Pain Mentor today!