How to Live with Chronic Pain
Dealing With the Monster in my Body
How to live with chronic pain … Everyone will experience pain at some point in their lives. Pain is a necessary form of protection against injuries, diseases, or conditions that would otherwise impair or even kill us. Pain alerts us that something is wrong. Pain can be either ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’ – the distinguishing characteristic between the two is their duration.
Acute pain usually occurs after a specific injury. It appears quickly and is usually very intense – think of the pain of a broken bone. It subsides fairly quickly after treatment.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, builds up over time, and often cannot be connected to a particular injury or condition. Living in constant pain can be unbearable. Luckily, there are various treatments attempting to offer sufferers some sort of natural chronic pain relief.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medication while often effective in alleviating pain, are known for their adverse side effects. Nausea, dizziness, and fatigue are just a few of the more ‘harmless’ side effects, not to mention damages to stomach and liver or worse. Thus, chronic pain patients are constantly in search of natural chronic pain relief.
Exercise, stretching and physical therapy can reduce chronic joint pain, muscle soreness and spasms by increasing strength and flexibility. Exercising increases blood flow, eases morning joint stiffness, aids in weight loss, and counteracts the stress, anxiety, and depression that often comes from living with chronic pain.
Chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage offer three alternative methods of natural chronic pain relief. Though their methods differ, all of this has helped many people managing chronic pain conditions.
In the past few years, researchers have begun to turn their focus on the real source of pain – the brain. Although an injury or wound may lie elsewhere in the body, signals of pain are intercepted, processed, and quite literally ‘felt’ by the brain. Research findings indicate that a multidisciplinary approach to treating chronic pain – one that incorporates psychological as well as physical therapy – provides the most natural chronic pain relief. Meditation and even laughing yoga exercises have proved effective treatments.
– Listening to our body
I know my body better than anyone and so do you. Taking the best possible care of it especially when I am experiencing symptoms, recognizing and treating them, caring for myself and learning how to live with chronic pain has been my daily business for the past 4 years. I’ve had to learn to recognize these symptoms. I always have to keep an eye on myself for overexertion. If I don’t really listen to my body or I ignore these symptoms I will damn sure end up in awful pain for the next few days. So, be careful, do only as much as you can bear without suffering. Accept things as they are and slow down. Skip washing the windows, do the laundry whenever you feel fit, don’t overdo things, it’s not worth the pain! Quality of life matters much more than clean windows, tho.
– Yoga & Pilates
Besides my daily walks (how convenient if you’ve got a dog and you just have to get up and go out) I discovered yoga as being my thing. I have only just started with some breathing techniques and a few standing poses but I can now already confirm the positive and relaxing effect of yoga. Laughing yoga exercises (yep, laughing) have been shown to increase the immune system, improve your deep sleep phases and best of all it eases the pain. Also, pilates apparently seems to be great to strengthen your muscles and combat chronic pain. There is so much information to find online about the benefits of yoga, search for exercise videos for beginners to help you get started.
– The importance of recreative sleep
The right amount of sleep is very important for your body’s recovery. Don’t sleep with your mobile or computer in your bedroom! Researchers aren’t exactly sure why exposure to blue light at night seems to have such detrimental effects on our health, but it is known that exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin and lower melatonin levels might explain the association with these types of health problems. Blue light can help elevate your mood and boost awareness, but chronic exposure to blue light at night can lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, and disrupts your circadian rhythm. bluelightexposed.com
When trying to get a good night’s sleep, going to bed earlier is also helpful. Don’t watch too exciting TV programs, they will only wind you up. Try to find ‘your thing’ to unwind, reading a nice relaxing book will help you to find the rest you and your body need to recover.
– Do more things that make you happy!
As you might know, if it’s not your first visit here, I am a great believer in the benefits of overall happiness. What makes you happy? What were your hobbies and activities before ending up being ill? Take another look at some of those activities. You might not be able to take part completely like you once did, but you can still find things to enjoy in accordance with your situation. The impacts of joy and happiness on health and wellness have been verified to be exceptionally advantageous. I am so much more the ‘old me’ when I’m sitting at my laptop, writing has become such a welcome diversion! It’s a great tool to keep in touch with people and also to keep myself happy.
– All natural home remedies and essential oils
Essential oils have actually always been an important part of my daily self-care, now even more. I use lavender oil every night, it’s great for relaxation and a good quiet deep restorative sleep. Too many months I couldn’t sleep well and woke up with unbearable joint pain and -stiffness. How can you start a day well motivated after a sleepless night of tossing and turning? Also, Johannes oil is an amazing traditional home remedy used by many physiotherapists to relax your muscles and ease the pain.
The high effectiveness and versatility of essential oils are almost endless. Just find out what really makes you feel better, what best helps you to relax and find restorative sleep. Another very effective home remedy: hot baths with bicarbonate of soda. Just add 7-8 tablespoons to your bath, not only your muscles and joints will be grateful for that, bicarbonate of soda also deep cleanses your skin.
Thanks a lot for reading, take good care of yourself!