To understand coping skills, we must first understand what chronic pain is. Chronic pain is generally considered any pain that lasts longer than three months. It doesn’t necessarily have to be present at all times and can also be present anywhere in the body.
It’s different from acute pain, as acute pain is typically caused by an injury like a cut or broken bone. Acute injuries go away over time, whereas chronic pain never does or lasts for much longer. Even after being “healed” or for another reason, you may find yourself in chronic pain.
What Are Common Types of Chronic Pain?
Common types of chronic pain can include:
- Back and neck pain
- Scar tissue
- Muscle pain
- Neurogenic pain
- Cancer pain
There are many types of chronic pain and whatever the reason is for its presence, there are ways to cope. Here are a few skills to keep tucked away during a flare-up.
1. Speaking with Your Doctor
One of the first places you should start for chronic pain solutions is your doctor. If you have a diagnosis, there may be a more streamlined approach to helping you through your chronic pain. On the other hand, if you haven’t been to the doctor for a while and are experiencing chronic pain, a diagnosis can help to narrow in on a solution for you.
2. The Right Medications
There are a plethora of medications out there. Anticonvulsants can help to prevent seizures for nerve pain.
Antidepressants can help to relieve the pain that accompanies depression. Corticosteroids can be used as an anti-inflammatory tool and may help with rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, or auto-immune disorders like lupus.
For a more localized approach, you might also find topical creams that are intended to provide hot and cold sensations to help to soothe problem areas. The possibilities are endless, and it’s important to research the right option for you.
3. Medical Marijuana
Nestled in as a treatment option is medical marijuana. The use of medical marijuana can be controversial, but there are a few benefits of using it for chronic pain.
The THC in cannabis may temporarily relieve pain by interacting with the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors and reducing pain signaling and pain reception.
Cannabis also has anti-inflammatory cytokines – those are the small proteins involved in signaling pain. But as stated above, always seek a medical professional’s opinion first.
If marijuana is not legal in your state, your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with a medical marijuana card so you can legally purchase the help.
Find more information on the tool here.
4. Make a Lifestyle Change
Oftentimes, a lifestyle change can help reduce the amount of pain you are in. There are considered to be four pillars of chronic pain management in which the treatment of pain is tackled. All of the pillars are concerned with the well-being of a person, including a healthy lifestyle and emotional well-being.
This means avoiding something that we all suffer from – stress. Stress takes a horrible effect on your entire body and is often closely interlinked with chronic pain. To help reduce chronic pain, try taking up stress-relieving activities, like:
- Deep Breathing
And don’t forget to modify your diet so that you are promoting well-being. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as balances, can help you to feel your best and reduce symptoms of chronic pain.
5. Try Alternative Treatments
The ideal treatment for you may be subjective. If you’re not responding well to traditional medicine, or want to consider alternatives, discuss your options with your doctor.
For example, acupuncture can be a great tool to help relieve pain in a targeted way. Acupuncture can involve needles being placed into pressure points or never clusters that help to relieve tension in that area.
Similarly, you may want to try aromatherapy. Biofeedback can teach you how to move your body in a specific way to create less tension. Using sensors to gauge heart rate, breathing, muscle activity, skin tension, and more, aromatherapy can be an effective way to soothe your body.
Chronic pain is something that too many people struggle with. With so many treatment options out there and individual preferences for healing, you’ll need to consider which is best for you. Speak with your doctor and consult with other sources for more information on what will help relieve your symptoms.