Chronic pain affects many people. In fact, it’s estimated that around half of all adults in the UK may be living with the condition. Generally, it is considered to be any pain that lasts longer than three months. Chronic pain can occur for a number of reasons, with a few of the most common being the result of a serious injury, infection or surgical procedure. Many cases of chronic pain relate to problems such as back pain, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and nerve damage.
Regardless of where your discomfort stems from, chronic pain can be an extremely debilitating condition to live with. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can follow that could help to make things easier for you. To learn how to cope effectively with your condition, keep reading.
- Try some gentle exercises
When you’re in pain, it’s likely that exercise is going to be the last thing on your mind. It’s natural to feel hesitant about it at first, and you might be worried that you’ll end up doing more damage. However, did you know that taking part in some physical activity could actually help alleviate your pains? Gentles exercises are great for loosening up your muscles, ligaments and joints, and it’s unlikely you’ll cause yourself any further harm. There are a number of low-impact exercises you could try, such as taking a leisurely stroll, going for a relaxing swim or doing yoga or pilates. Try to be active every day, but make sure not to over do it. For help and advice on which exercises are best for you, you should speak to your GP.
- Improve your sleep setup
Sleeping can become a huge problem when you’re suffering with long-term discomfort. Getting comfortable at night can be extremely difficult if you’re in physical pain, so much so that you might even dread going to bed. The truth is, sleep deprivation could actually make your condition worse, so it’s crucial that you get the rest you need.
If your current sleep setup isn’t working for you, it might be time to make some improvements. Ideally, you should have a comfortable, supportive mattress, so if yours is looking saggy and worn, you might want to consider investing in a new one. To really up your comfort, you could even replace your entire bed with an adjustable model. At Adjustamatic, we offer designs that can be moved into different positions, making it easier for you to find an optimum position for sleeping. This is especially useful if you suffer with pain in areas such as your back, neck and hips.
- Take time to relax
Being in a lot of pain can cause your muscles to tighten and tense up, and as a result, you could find that you’re in even more agony. So, to keep your pain under control, it’s important to let yourself relax, both physically and mentally. There are a variety of things you could do to help yourself unwind. For example, you could try some deep breathing exercises or have a go at meditation. Some people find getting a massage to be highly effective way to reduce stress and relieve tension, especially if it targets the problem area, such as the back or neck.
- Keep yourself distracted
It might seem to be easier said than done, but keeping yourself distracted could help take your mind off the pain. Shifting your attention to something else, even for just a short period of time, could work wonders for you. There are a range of things you could do. For example, why not try your hand at a new hobby? Whether it’s practising your photography skills or getting to grips with knitting, there are many different activities you can have a go at, even if your mobility is restricted as a result of your health condition.
- Spend time with your family and friends
It can be easy to allow yourself to become distant from those around you when you’re suffering, so make sure you’re careful to not let your chronic pain come between you and your family and friends. Whether you invite a family member over for dinner or you chat to a friend on the phone, keeping in touch with people is great for your health and it’s a guaranteed way to lift your spirits if you’re feeling down.
- Talk about it
Believe it or not, talking about your pain could help you feel better. For example, you could chat to others who have experienced similar problems themselves and understand what you’re going through. Whether you sign up to a forum online or phone a support helpline, there are a number of ways in which you can speak out about your situation.
You might even find it helpful to speak on a one-to-one basis with a professional, such as a counsellor, psychologist or a hypnotherapist. During your sessions, you’ll be able to discuss your feelings and receive on suggestions on how to deal with your emotions in regards to your pain. For more advice on counselling and how to access it, you should speak to your GP.
- Do your research
Aside from taking these tips on board, you could carry out your own research. By searching online, you should be able to get further information about your condition so that you can understand it better. You may even discover more ways to make living with chronic pain easier.