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How to Successfully Manage Chronic Pain

Updated on December 18, 2013

Whether it is a result of a horrific accident or the result of a gradual process, there is no doubt that suffering from chronic pain can be a life changing experience. Unlike acute and short-term pain, chronic pain does not go away all that easily and ensures that it leaves a lasting impression on the host. The pain, which usually lasts for a period of more than 3 months, has physical and emotional side effects. For those suffering from chronic pain, the quest to deal with the pain has to do with successfully dealing with both types of side effects. Thus, here are a few words of advice on how to successfully manage chronic pain.

1. Coming Up With A Comprehensive Plan
Although coming up with a comprehensive pain management strategy with the help of your personal physician might not help reduce the intensity of the pain, such a strategy can still help patients cope with the emotional and mental side of things. More importantly, a good pain management strategy can also change a patient's outlook on both the pain and his/her life, helping the patient be in the best possible shape to deal with the consequences of chronic pain.

For starters, patients should ask their doctors to firstly perform a thorough evaluation of their physiological and physical states. If a patient wishes the doctor to deal with chronic pain effectively, the patient must be honest and open about the state of pain and how badly it is affecting the patient's life. Moreover, all the medications in current use should also be evaluated. Although medicines are the weapon when it comes to dealing with the chronic pain, relying too heavily on them is not suitable. Therefore, a doctor should try and ensure that with time, a patient's reliance on medication is reduced.

2. Enroll in a Physical and Stress Management Program
Patients should also try and enroll in some sort of physical therapy program as chronic pain patients often suffer from a loss of muscle strength and increased levels of fatigue. Enrolling in a physical therapy program is a great strategy to deal with these symptoms. Patients should also ensure that their doctor comes up with a stress management strategy. Life style management, group support, and counseling are all effective stress management techniques.

3. Build Mental Strength and Resilience
When it comes to chronic pain, a patient's emotional well being is important in treating the pain. To build resilience, patients should first manage their stress levels. This can be done by exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and eating healthy. In addition, patients should also never underestimate whatever progress they make in bringing the pain levels down. For instance, if the pain is less intense than what it was a day before, the patient should be proud of him or herself.

4. Keep Your Doctor Updated
Even if the pain is present at the most minimal level, a patient should tell his or her doctor every bit of information. It might be getting easier to sleep properly, to talk to people, or to indulge in conversations. Whatever it is, it is necessary to tell your doctor about whatever developments are being made in regards to chronic pain. This will allow your doctor to develop a better strategy, learn about the symptoms, and analyze if the symptoms are getting any better or worse.

Explaining Chronic Pain

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Chronic Fatique Syndrome

1. Listen to the Body
Although every human body consists of the same muscles and bones, the genetic structuring varies from person to person. Whereas some people have the ability to work for prolonged periods of time without feeling tired, others do not have the same level of stamina and may feel exhausted relatively quickly. Therefore, it is suggested that people listen to their bodies and understand its mechanism before undertaking any task. Our body sends signals when it is being overworked and it is important to ensure that we register the smallest bits of signals so that we are able to strike a balance between work and rest.

2. Switch between Rest and Work
While the symptoms of CFS do not improve after resting, there is no reason why patients should underestimate the value of getting appropriate levels of rest. A simple yet effective way to strike a balance between work and rest is to work for a bit and follow the work with a period of rest. For instance, if you work for 15 minutes, then take a 15-minute break before restarting again. By adopting this approach, the possibility of completing even complex tasks will be quite high.

3. Do Only Half of What You Think Is Possible
Nowadays, with the value of productivity and time management being sky high, doing as much as possible in a short period of time is the way to go about things. However, for people with CFS, this approach may prove to be detrimental. Hence, CFS patients must only perform half of what they think is possible. Although this may seem frustrating initially, this respective approach will significantly reduce the possibility of a relapse.

4. Ask Others for Help
Another practical way of dealing with CFS involves asking other people for help. Tasks that are too intensive and stressing should be left for others to complete until the patients are fit enough to do them themselves.

5. Prioritize Work
It is essential for those suffering from CFS to organize and prioritize work in a way that allows for the completion of the most important tasks first. Thus, even if some tasks are left unfinished, at least the most significant ones will have been completed.


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