There are many factors that play a part in successful chronic pain management.
These foundational areas lay the groundwork for the biopsychosocial model, which looks at how a person's biology, psychology, and sociology contributes to their pain -- both positively and negatively.
In particular, adopting certain qualities and habits can be vital in the quest for effectively managing pain.
Here are four tenets you can follow to get started on the right path:
Putting the work in is the key to success in any venture, and pain management is no exception. In order to see results such as lower pain levels, more energy, improved motion, and better sleep, a certain degree of persistence is needed.
Each person living with chronic pain must work diligently to understand the mechanisms of pain and what they must do differently to instill positive change in their lives.
Along with this comes equal parts patience. You may see results in some areas quicker than others, so you must remain patient and continue your personal efforts to reap the long-term benefits you are seeking.
From the outside looking in, people may view the pursuits of others’ as simple, clear cut, and full of success. If you were to stand before someone who found a way to manage their chronic pain or health concern, you may see a person who “has it all” and is incredibly happy.
However, this perspective is often skewed. We often don’t know about the legwork that led up to their present self: time spent visiting various health professionals, trial-and-error with treatments they believe will work, not managing time and causing themselves undue stress, following a poor diet that triggers symptoms, and more.
Behind each success story for chronic pain management is a slew of learning experiences combined with day-to-day preparation that affords them the quality-of-life and functional abilities they have today.
One of the best ways to ensure results for anything is consistency. This means forming habits and creating patterns based on evidence-based health practices, including regular sleep and wake times, a balanced diet, controlled stress levels, and established self-care routines.
These patterns will set up a good foundation for managing chronic pain, while also helping your body and mind behave more predictably. By organizing patterns, you can eliminate or lessen the effects of certain risk factors and simultaneously avoid triggers that cause a spike in pain, immobility, swelling, and fatigue.
This will help you maintain an equilibrium so you can keep pain right where you want it -- within your control.
One of the best ways to prepare and form habits is through dedicated planning. By outlining your goals, you can map out what you want your days, weeks, and even months to look like.
Long-term goals can help structure your monthly and yearly planning, while smaller short-term goals will add clarity to your daily activities. Each of these singular steps and health practices can take you a bit closer to your ideal picture of wellness.
By utilizing tools such as preparation, persistence, planning, and patterns, you will have access to another “P” word: power.
This means not only power over your pain, but power over your behaviors, abilities, emotions, and (most importantly) your life. If these resources resonate with you, then you are in the right place.
Get started on the road toward managing your chronic pain by reaching out to a Pain Mentor today!