Are you living with chronic pain? Do you feel alone, and misunderstood as you manage this pain? Have you been told that no one can help you?
People often think pain is purely physical, however there is more to pain than that. To treat pain, you must treat the emotional and psychological aspects as well. You can learn to decrease the discomfort, depression, and anxiety associated with chronic pain! Understanding the cause of chronic pain is important, but discovering the solution to the problems created by pain is even more so. Learning effective problem solving, reducing pain and emotional distress, and incorporating a new lifestyle that is no longer pain-centric are achievable goals.
Living with any chronic condition requires changing the way you think about your health and your life. Pain, as an individual experience, can be isolating. Gathering support from others who experience and understand chronic pain is crucial to the treatment/recovery process. No less important is to understand that while the pain is not all in your head, attitudes and expectations make a substantial difference. Establishing realistic, attainable goals not only for pain management but for life generally is part of healing.
The American Chronic Pain Association identifies several key coping skills in dealing with chronic pain, including:
• We do not dwell on physical symptoms of pain.
• We focus on abilities, not disabilities.
• We recognize and talk freely about our feelings about pain and its control over our lives. We do not make judgments.
• We use relaxation exercises to help ease the tension that increases pain and redirect attention away from our pain and suffering.
• We set realistic goals and evaluate them weekly. This helps members to see that their desires can be achieved, one step at a time.