ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to live with chronic pain

Updated on September 18, 2013

Living with chronic pain can be hard to imagine for those who are pain-free. Chronic pain can be caused by several different things: fibromyalgia, arthritis, bulging discs, stenosis, shingles, nerve damage, multiple sclerosis, etc. Chronic pain can be debilitating, or it can be managed to a point that a patient can still participate in activities. No matter what the diagnosis, living with constant, chronic pain can be, well, a pain. It can quite easily overwhelm your life and very quickly destroy your relationship with others if you let it. Here are some tips to living with chronic pain.

Source

1. You’re not alone

When you have chronic pain, it can become easy to imagine that you’re the only one suffering. Because your world revolves around the pain you suffer, you might forget that others out there are going through exactly the same thing. You might also feel like all you ever talk to others about is your pain and they are growing weary of you.

Support groups are an excellent way to help you get through your pain. The Internet is a great tool to utilize when looking for a support group that is for you. The best part about finding a support group online is that if you’re having a bad pain day, you don’t have to leave your house to talk to someone. Finding support groups to share stories with or that you can reach out to for support is very important while you are suffering. Support from others can help you get through some of the rough times.

2. Get a hobby

Sometimes it’s all one can do to not think about the pain. Finding a hobby to help take your mind off your pain really can help you get through the worst of days. Reading, scrapbooking, knitting, quilting, writing, and beading are just some suggestions of hobbies you can look into. On those days when you feel particularly bad and you’re bedbound, your hobby can help you focus on something that’s fun and enjoyable, rather than focusing on your suffering.

Source

3. Communicate with your doctor

The importance of good communication about your condition with your doctor cannot be overstated. Sometimes, we want to be tough and pretend like we can handle the pain, but that strategy can only hurt you more in the end. If you do not keep an open and honest dialogue about your pain, your doctor cannot help you. Your doctor will know by your amount of pain if your pain medication needs to be increased, decreased, or changed altogether. Your pain might also signify a change in your diagnosis or treatment.

Keeping a pain journal is one of the best ways to accurately communicate with your doctor the following:

Type of pain (sharp, dull, throbbing, etc)
The continuity of pain (all the time, several times a day, etc)
Location of pain (lower back, abdomen, hips, etc)
What activities make your pain better or worse

At the end of each day, make notes about how your day was pain-wise. Unless something major happens during the day, I wouldn’t recommend taking notes throughout the day, otherwise you will focus too much on your pain.

If you feel that your doctor is not appropriately treating your condition and your pain, or is downplaying the amount of pain you are in, find another doctor. It is your life, and you deserve the best treatment available. Not everyone suffers from pain in the same ways. Some have a very high pain tolerance, while others have a very low pain tolerance. Don’t ever let your doctor (or anyone else, for that matter) tell you how you should feel. Definitely don’t let your doctor say that you shouldn’t be experiencing as much pain as you are and, as a result, they don’t treat you according to your pain level. Make sure your pain level is appropriately treated at all times.

4. Seek the help you need

Sometimes chronic pain leads to depression. Medications that are taken to help cope with pain also can have negative effects on the mental state of the patient. It’s very understandable when this happens, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you feel that you’re starting to suffer from depression or chronic mood swings, seek out the help of a counselor or psychologist for treatment. No one will blame you if you feel down about yourself or life, but you need to take steps to help you move past that and to help you understand how to better deal with your pain.

5. Don’t exclude loved ones

Loved ones –especially spouses and children– are greatly affected by those that suffer from chronic pain. It can be difficult to watch their loved one suffer and have to go through treatments. When mental health or mood is affected by the pain or medication, it can cause relationships to go through rough patches.

While experiencing chronic pain, keep your communication up with your loved ones. Don’t assume that they don’t want to hear about it anymore. Let them know what you’re going through, apologize when you go through a mood change or snap at them without meaning to, and take control of your situation the best you can. If you keep the lines of communication open with loved ones, and let them know how much you still love them and appreciate their support, then your relationships will be one less thing you have to worry about.

Summary

Living with chronic pain can be quite hard at times, but if you follow these tips and learn to better cope with your pain, life can still be enjoyable.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Angie Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Angie Martin 

      5 years ago from Frazier Park, California

      Hi Crafty! Nice to meet you as well. I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through! I hope that you can find some more relief, even on the humid days! :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 

      5 years ago

      Well it looks like we share a similar story!

      I have chronic pain from arthritis in my neck. I went to the emergency room after waking up with explosive pain in my head and a paralyzed right arm. They said I have fused bones, missing disc, and protruding bones in my cervical spine. I said how is that so? They said I was born like that. Never had a problem before with it in my entire life. I cope with allieve but humid days are the worst for me. Nice to meet you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)