Living With Chronic Pain: 10 Tips To Prevent Pain From Hijacking Your Life17 January 2023
- Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that can profoundly impact your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Chronic pain is often associated with ongoing health problems, but it can also be caused by accidents or injuries such as burns and broken bones.
- Managing chronic pain can be a challenge, but there are many things you can do to reduce its impact on your life. Exercise, rest, medication, alternative therapies and counselling can all help ease the pain.
- It’s important to note that no single treatment works for all people suffering from chronic pain. The best approach is to try different treatments and therapies until you find what works best.
- Medical cannabis for chronic pain is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments. Research shows that medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment option for many people who suffer from the condition.
- As with any new therapy, patients should consult with their doctor before starting medical cannabis treatment. At the Lyphe, we provide patients with the resources and support they need to start medical cannabis treatment.
Chronic pain is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can be debilitating, preventing people from working and enjoying social activities with friends and family. It can also be difficult to treat.
Most times, it is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated. Chronic pain can take several forms: back pain, headaches, arthritis, and many other conditions.
There are many ways to manage chronic pain without relying on prescription medications. If you’re living with chronic pain, there are many things you can do to help manage it and reduce the symptoms.
This guide will help you understand what chronic pain is and how it can affect your life. You’ll also learn about different types of pain and ways to manage them.
Chronic pain: What you need to know
Chronic pain is defined as any type of long-term pain that lasts for at least three months. The definition includes nociceptive pain, caused by tissue damage or inflammation, and neuropathic pain, which results from nerve damage.
The most common symptoms of chronic pain include:
- Tingling or burning sensations in the extremities (arms and legs)
- Soreness in muscles or joints that doesn’t improve with rest or massage
- Swelling in an arm or leg that doesn’t go away when you lie down
How to manage chronic pain
If you experience chronic pain, it’s important to talk with your doctor. Your physician can help determine if there is a medical cause for the pain, such as a condition that requires treatment or surgery.
Needless to say, medication is not the only approach to chronic pain. If you experience this type of pain, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes that can help reduce it.
1. Address other conditions that may be causing pain
The most important thing you can do is identify and treat any underlying conditions causing the pain. For example, if you have an infection or inflammation in the area of your body where the pain occurs, treating this problem will often relieve your symptoms.
In addition, if your pain is caused by an injury such as a sprain or strain, it will usually improve over time. However, some chronic pain types remain constant and unrelated to any specific cause.
2. Track your pain
Keep a pain diary to track your pain levels, triggers and effects of treatments. This can help identify what makes the pain worse or better and make it easier for your doctor to devise an effective treatment plan.
A 0-10 scale is commonly used to rate the intensity of a person’s pain.
For example, suppose you have severe symptoms with an average severity (4 out of 10) for two days or longer with no sign of improvement in sight. In that case, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. This could signify something more serious than just chronic pain, such as cancer or other diseases.
3. Talk to a therapist
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by your pain that it’s almost impossible to think of anything else? If this sounds familiar, then you should talk to a therapist. A psychologist or counsellor can help you deal with the emotional challenges that come along with chronic pain.
They can also help you find ways to cope with your pain. For example, they can teach you useful strategies such as:
- CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy – This type of therapy teaches you how to change the way you think about your pain and your life in general. CBT can also help people learn healthier ways to cope with pain, improve relationships, and manage stress, so they don’t feel like their minds are spinning out of control from all the uncertainties in life.
- Mindfulness – This is a very useful type of therapy that teaches you how to be present at the moment and feel your feelings without judging them. Mindfulness can help you to cope with chronic pain by helping you relax and letting go of negative thoughts and emotions like stress, anxiety, fear, anger and frustration.
4. Meditate daily
Meditation is another very popular way to reduce stress and anxiety and help you cope with chronic pain. Studies have shown that meditation can help you to reduce your stress levels, lower blood pressure and even improve your memory.
There are many different types of meditation, but they all involve focusing on your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. You might also notice a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms and improvements in sleep quality and overall well-being.
5. Get a therapist-approved massage
Massage can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as relieve chronic back pain. Studies have shown that massage can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is key because high cortisol levels are associated with inflammation, weight gain and other health issues.
What does a therapist-approved massage look like? A good massage will include basic techniques like kneading, stretching and deep tissue techniques that focus on releasing tight muscles.
The benefits of these massages include increased circulation and flexibility while reducing swelling or inflammation caused by injury or illness such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.
6. Join an online support group
Living with chronic pain can be an isolating experience. Joining an online support group can help you connect with others who are going through similar experiences.
There are many benefits to participating in an online support group, including finding emotional support from people who understand what you’re going through and providing tips on how to manage your symptoms. If you don’t have access to an online support group, consider starting one of your own.
7. Exercise more often
Exercise is an important part of managing pain. Being physically active encourages the release of endorphins —the body’s natural painkillers—which can help reduce your perception of pain. Additionally, exercise helps you lose weight and gain muscle tone, which can improve your mobility and strength.
While you might not be able to participate in high-intensity workouts like running or weightlifting, plenty of exercises can help manage pain without causing additional stress on your body. Try yoga, stretching, walking or swimming instead of running for exercise.
8. Accept that there will be bad days
Dealing with chronic pain involves accepting that there will be bad days. This may seem counterintuitive because it can feel like you need to fight your way out of the pain instead of embracing it. But acceptance doesn’t mean giving up—it means moving forward with a new perspective on your condition and how you react to it.
Accepting bad days can help you develop a more positive outlook on life, which can help you cope with pain and depression. It also becomes easier to follow treatment plans when negative thoughts do not consume you.
9. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can cause headaches, lightheadedness and fatigue. You may not be aware of it if you’re not drinking enough water, but when you’re dehydrated, your body pulls fluids from other areas to compensate for the deficit. This can leave you feeling tired and stressed out.
You should aim for eight cups of water per day. If you’re getting less than that, try drinking more daily water to reach your goal. If you’re feeling dehydrated after drinking a lot of water, take a break and see if your symptoms improve.
10. Get enough sleep every night
Sleep is an essential part of any pain treatment strategy. A 2019 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests that lack of sleep is associated with increased pain perception.
In the study, researchers found that the sleep-deprived group had increased activity (as much as 120%) of their somatosensory cortex or pain centre. The group also showed a 60-90% drop in the striatum and insula – the brain areas that dampen pain. Losing sleep makes us more sensitive to physical discomfort that those who sleep eight hours a night.
You should get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every night to keep your body in prime condition. If you cannot get enough sleep at night, try taking short naps during the day.
If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some tips to help you fall asleep faster:
- Try not to watch TV before bedtime. The blue light from the TV screen can affect your melatonin levels and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet. Try using blackout curtains and wear earplugs if necessary.
- Try keeping a journal next to your bed and writing down any thoughts or worries that may be occupying your mind before going to sleep.
- Get up at the same time each day. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, even on weekends. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve sleep quality.
What to avoid when dealing with chronic pain
Alleviating chronic pain can be a challenging process. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, there are some things that you should try to avoid doing as much as possible.
Cut back on alcohol
Alcohol and caffeine can make you drowsy, but they won’t help your sleep quality. In fact, they may even worsen it. If you drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages late in the day, try not to have more than one or two servings of those items per day at most.
Avoid eating heavy meals right before bedtime.
If you eat a large meal right before bed, your digestive system will be working hard to break down that food while trying to fall asleep. This can make it difficult for you to get the restorative sleep that your body needs to deal with pain.
If possible, avoid painkillers like opioids
You may be tempted to reach for a painkiller when you’re in pain, but these medications can carry serious side effects. If you have chronic pain, take care of your body and avoid using opioids whenever possible.
Opioids are addictive. They can cause adverse reactions such as constipation, dry mouth, nausea, and more. Taking them long-term can cause tolerance and dependence on the drug—meaning that if you stop taking them suddenly, withdrawal symptoms will set in.
Consider using medical cannabis to deal with chronic pain
If you have chronic pain, you might want to consider medical cannabis to alleviate your condition. Medical cannabis can be used to treat pain and other symptoms that come with chronic conditions. It’s a safer alternative to opioids, with fewer side effects and no risk of addiction.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive cannabinoid that produces a feeling of euphoria when consumed. Both cannabinoids have been shown to be effective for pain relief in numerous studies.
For example, one study found that patients who used medical cannabis reported a 64% reduction in pain symptoms. Another study found that medical cannabis was effective in treating neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage. It’s also been shown to help with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
How to legally get medical cannabis for chronic pain
First, you need a recommendation from a licensed doctor who can confirm that your chronic pain merits medical cannabis treatment. This is usually done by consulting with your physician about the type of pain and its impact on your daily activities.
You may also need to provide a medical history to help the doctor determine if cannabis is an effective treatment for your condition. Your doctor can then write you a medical cannabis recommendation that must be presented at your local dispensary before purchasing any products.
Getting started with medical cannabis treatment for chronic pain can be a daunting process for many. At Lyphe, we are here to help you start your treatment. We are the leading medical cannabis clinic in the UK, providing patients with expert advice and support to help them make informed decisions about their treatment plans.
Chronic pain is a serious medical problem that can significantly impact your quality of life. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that many treatment options are available for patients suffering from chronic pain.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to chronic pain, and it is important that you find a treatment that is right for you. If you have been suffering from chronic pain and are looking for a treatment option, medical cannabis may be the answer.
Want to know more about how medical cannabis can help with your chronic pain? At Lyphe, we can help you find a treatment option that is right for you. If you are suffering from chronic pain, contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does chronic pain do to a person?
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that can significantly negatively affect your life. It can affect your ability to work, think, and function daily.
What is the most common treatment for chronic pain?
The most common way to address chronic pain is through pain-relieving medication. However, the side effects may be more harmful than the pain itself.
What happens if chronic pain is left untreated?
Chronic pain can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, and function daily. Left untreated, it could lead to depression or other mental health issues.
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