Chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life, but it does not have to take over your life. Here are some practical tips to help you deal with chronic pain.
1. Know your treatment options. What treatments have you tried (medicines, therapies, surgeries, injections)? What doctors/specialists have you seen so far? Do not be afraid to get a second and third opinion, especially if you have unanswered questions about the diagnosis and treatment options for your condition. Be sure to ask your healthcare providers all your questions about your symptoms, concerns and needs.
2. Exercise! Find a form of exercise that is most tolerable and do it frequently. Exercise produces natural feel-good hormones in your body called endorphins! There are countless exercise benefits for your heart, lungs, muscles, metabolism, digestion, mind and every system of your body, so do not stop exercising or moving because of chronic pain. More than likely, exercise will make you feel better and lack of exercise will make you feel worse.
3. Modify your postures. Look at your posture and find ways to improve it. Use upright chairs, lumbar support rolls, extra pillows, etc to improve and maintain good posture. Start standing and walking with upright posture. Use assistive devices (cane, walker, crutches, braces) as needed to help improve your posture and balance.
4. Modify positioning. Do you sit all day in your recliner chair or sofa? Are there certain positions that aggravate your symptoms for an extended time that you can avoid? Change positions frequently. Stand up and walk around often, even if it is only for a few minutes at a time. You may need to avoid certain chairs, beds, or couches. Be picky about where you choose to sit when you are in public.
5. Find a hobby. Give yourself something to wake up for every day. Choose something that promotes activity and movement, such as gardening, yoga, or cooking. Having an active hobby will benefit you both physically and mentally.
6. Stay social. Do not isolate yourself because of your pain. Spend time doing activities with your family and friends. Or find ways/places to make friends. Find a local support group for individuals with your condition.
7. Do not neglect the power of prayer. Jesus performed miraculous healings, and God still does miracles today!