In It For The Long Haul: Tips For Treating Chronic Pain
If you've already been in pain for a while, it can be really disheartening to learn that your pain will be chronic. But after you mourn a little and talk through your worries with a friend, it's time to face the pain head-on. If the pain is going to stay with you for a long time, then you might as well do your very best to manage it. To that end, here are some tips for managing chronic pain when you know you'll be in it for the long haul.
Make sure the medication you're using really works
Often, when you are first diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe a pain relief medication for you to use. But this first medication is not always the best one for you. If it is not working, then you should let your doctor know. Tell them if you're still in pain after taking it. Tell them if you're developing worrisome side effects or if you're struggling to take it as often as needed.
There may be a different medication that is better suited to your needs. Your doctor can't prescribe it if they don't know your current meds aren't working for you, so be honest with your doctor and work together to find a medicine that really works.
Find some alternative methods that give you relief
Over the years, when dealing with your chronic pain, there may be times when your medications are not working as well as you'd hope or when you can't take them because of side effects or the need to prep for surgery. So, before you end up in one of those situations, it's nice to know which alternative pain relief measures you can turn to. Experiment with acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, meditation, and chiropractic care. These methods may not 100% erase your pain, but one or more of them may give you enough relief to make it through.
See a counselor
Chronic pain causes you to stress, and stress can make the pain worse. So, before things get too cumbersome, it's a good idea to start seeing a counselor. You can talk through your stress and get it off your shoulders so it does not keep worsening your pain. When your pain is at its worst and you're feeling particularly stressed, you'll already have a relationship with a counselor and a safe place to turn.
Finding out your pain will be chronic can be disheartening, but with the tips above, you can manage it responsibly.