Life with a chronic pain condition can be incredibly difficult. It can feel like you’re held back by pain that you have to live with on a daily basis, for which there is no obvious cure. Chronic pain is a hugely misunderstood condition, which can result from any number of health conditions. Fibromyalgia and back problems are the most common causes of chronic pain, but every cause of pain is different, and everyone experiences their pain differently.
If you are a chronic pain sufferer, you will know all of the above far too well. It’s tough to explain constant pain to someone who has never experienced it. Chronic pain doesn’t need to be life-defining, but it’s also not an issue that can just be brushed off. It will change your life experiences, your mindset, and how you approach tasks — and it could also cause problems for you beyond the pain itself.
Below are four areas where dealing with chronic pain is particularly problematic. By being aware of these, you can be sure your issues are not worsened, and help to guide you towards the relief you need.
You Are A Prime Target For Psuedo-science & Therapies
When you live your life alongside severe pain, it’s safe to say that you can become desperate. You find yourself willing to consider all manner of pain control techniques, from Reiki through to dry needling. There’s nothing wrong with being open-minded about what alternative therapies might be able to do for you, but it is possible to be too open-minded. Limit your search for therapies to those with well-researched benefits, such as standard acupuncture and therapeutic massages.
Your Doctor May Not Understand Your Pain (Particularly If You’re Female)
Discussing health matters with a doctor can be difficult at the best of times, but particularly when discussing pain. Doctors tend to become immune to descriptions of pain, as they hear overestimations so often. Doctors are also liable to underestimate women’s pain, so this is something you need to be particularly aware of if you’re female.
Rather than just telling your doctor that you’re in a lot of pain, explain what that pain causes. Maybe it gives you sleepless nights; prevents you from being social; or hampers your ability to go through housework chores. Explaining the way that pain affects your life is far more beneficial than just saying: “it hurts”. This should help your doctor calibrate a suitable response.
There Are Alternatives To Painkillers
As the opioid crisis makes abundantly clear, pain management should never just be about medication. Always talk to your doctor about alternative pain management techniques, such as TENS machines or using heat to alleviate discomfort. That’s not to say you can’t take painkillers at all, but just be wary of the potential damage painkillers can do.
Hopefully, by keeping the above in the back of your mind, you can ensure the only problem on your plate is the pain itself. Be well.