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. source 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!
Your tips are great Klaudia especially knowing yourself and listening to your body. I’m glad you have found some relief with essential oils and yoga. I love the do more that makes you happy – that’s got to be the best advice!!
This is so true, Debbie. It might sound flat and trivial, but if you are happy with what you are doing, your whole attitude changes, although it won’t take your pain away, but you deal with it in a different way. Thank you so much for coming over to my little chat corner 🙂
I have pain in both my left knee, and my wrists due to cheerleading (competitive with tumbling) and playing softball. If I don’t stretch, drink fluids, and remember my limits with pressure on them, the pain surfaces. My pain certainly does not compare to yours, and I am so happy that you have remedies to alleviate the pain. Keep pushing forward!
Thank you so much Tatyana, I really do appreciate your nice comment! You too , take good care of yourself !
This is a great resource for chronic pain relief. I too frequent the Chiropractors and I think they are miracle workers. I too am an avid user of essential oils for so many ailments. Wonderful read and great information.
Thank you so much , Dani ! I very much appreciate your visit and your kind comment 🙂
Chronic pain is the worst. This is a great resource to turn to when you need help dealing with it. Like you, I also starting writing more when I couldn’t do much else from chronic back pain. Thanks for the reminder of other things to try when I’m down.
yes to yoga! yes to oils! both have helped me out tremendously when it comes to pain!
What a fabulous and inspiring post! Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. As someone who deals with chronic lower back pain I am always looking for natural options (and avoiding painkillers, surgeries, injections, etc). There is a book that I think will fit perfectly with your recommendations and advice called “Walking Well Again – Neutralize the Hidden Causes of Pain” (http://walkingwellagain.com/) by author and doctor Stuart Goldman. The book is written in an easy to understand way *for us non medical types* and helps you clearly identify and investigate your symptoms that usually can be resolved without going the medical route (even if they are severe!). For my back I have found that improved gait mechanics works wonders thanks to his wonderful book. He also has a money back guarantee if you find it doesn’t work for you. I really hope you will check it out. Would love to hear your opinion
Thank you ever so much , Bianca . What a lovely comment and a great advice for others , I am so glad you found my post and shared your experience and your book-tip with us ! How kind of you , thanks a lot for coming over , nice to hear that you are getting better !
Thanks for the tips. Exercise and meditation do help me to reduce the pain and divert my attention from keep thinking about it also. Plus doing the things that make us happy make a lot of different too.
Very true Kelly , the worst we can do ,is sit and overthink and feeling sorry for ourselves . WE are in charge of our state of mind , not the other way round . Thanks a lot for reading !
Good points! I am thankful that I don’t feel any chronic pain even-though I’ve given birth to twins. We always have to take care of ourselves especially if someone really depends on us. I think exercise and enough sleep would be the best one to prevent any of this. Or atleast lessen any pain.
Great discussion of chronic pain. I have a friend who suffers from it because of her arthritis and it has been hard for me to understand what she is going through. I like the ideas that you gave to neutralize the pain so that there can be some relief. I want to try that bath! It looks like it would be great for sore muscles, too!
Good pointers! Will definitely share this article with my uncle who is suffering from chronic pain.
Great tips on chronic pain. Now, let me share my own. I have had a weak lower back for years. I attributed it to the years I was teaching scuba diving and carrying tanks often. Because of that, my only exercise was walking.
Fast forward to two months ago. I had an emergency procedure due to ruptured gallbladder. Guess what. The chronic back pain was nearly gone. Now I attribute what I feel as being weak because I had ot worked it out so much in the last several years.
There is chronic pain, and then there is pain that “could” be caused by other factors.
I have a free 2 sessions for yoga but havent tried yet. This is very informative. Felt like the reason for my pains (headache, back ache) are because i am not exercising. or because i lack sleep.
Ever since, I wanted to try Yoga or attend yoga sessions most especially when I am stressed out from work, but I still haven’t due to busy scheds and I’m just too lazy to get up hihi. I am pregnant now and might consider taking yoga sessions now.
I’ve been living with chronic back pain for years I am sometimes amazed whenever I don’t feel any pain. My S-curve scoliosis was discovered in 1999 when I fell off the stairs and had an x-ray. Physical therapy and sometimes painkillers has been part of my life since then.
It’s really saddening to know that anytime one can experience chronic pain but glad that you were able to find some ways on how to ease them somehow. This is more painful than a heart break, I bet. lol
I have a friend who’s been studying the effects of teas and she has been using various teas for different purposes, including dealing with pain. Have you ever tried this? I haven’t, but some of my other friends have tried the ones she suggested and they’ve been getting some good results.
Hi Renata , thanks a lot for stopping by and for your lovely comment . A great suggestion , I heard about the teas , will certainly go on the online research , I might find interesting news about this , watch this space 🙂 the next post might be a ‘tea post’ , very welcom inspiration 🙂
Chronic pain is a nightmare and you have given such a lovely selection of options to try. Interesting link about blue light, and i also love the yoga poses. Thanks Claudia.
So Good! I don’t have a chronic illness but I do have joint pain associated to a curvature of my spine(childbirth) I have thrown my back out numerous times and have regular issues with my legs. I know if I don’t drink water and walk I will suffer.
Very good points! It’s so important to know your body and the pain triggers so you can prevent or be proactive about the treatment. I’m an avid user of oils also for overall health and wellness. Great post!
Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment , Marsha 🙂