|Education helped me with my chronic pain by providing tools to manage it, groups to associate with, and actions to take to live a better life. If you want more from your life despite your chronic pain, then I hope this article will help you.|
Though numbers vary nationally and internationally, the most consistent statistics I can find state that one out of four people has chronic pain. I am that one. You must be that one also. Furthermore, studies show that education about chronic pain can not only empower us, but can help us have a better quality of life.
Before I go further, you might be that person that has tried everything, that has constant pain, and gets no relief. For that I am truly saddened. But please help us by commenting on this post and educating us. Your wisdom matters. And maybe someone will read your comment and respond in a helpful way.
So how is it possible that you may be able to live a better life?
Education Is Power
First of all, I am one of those people who believes you have to take responsibility for your pain, its management and what you are going to do about it. Therefore, you could say I am proactive about my pain. If you are not, then I suggest you become so. It is never too late to start.
That’s what this article is about. It’s about learning what to do about chronic pain so that we can have a better life. And although your physician should be alongside you to assist you in any way you need, you can’t just depend on them alone. You have to be proactive.
My doctors have been great. I have a primary care physician, a physical medicine doctor, a pain management doctor, a psychiatrist, and a physical therapist. I am thankful for all of them. But they have basically told me there is nothing more they can do for me. Which in my mind, translates; you are just going to have to live with it.
My friend says that if it were them suffering, they wouldn’t be so dismissive. Maybe so. Either way, they have nothing more to offer me. So, I took the bull by the horns and investigated further. One result was this website.
As I learn about chronic pain, I share my research. The research helps me. It is my hope it helps others.
What Are Your Options?
Here’s what your physician should be able to help you with:
- Treatment Options
- How to Prevent the Pain from Getting Worse
- Pain Measurement Management Options
- Pain Medicine
Here’s what your physician probably won’t help you with:
- Alternative Treatment options. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Most western medicine is not on board with alternative treatments. That’s just a bias I have experienced. Some doctors are downright negative about it. Others may be supportive, but on a cautious basis. Don’t let that discourage you from seeking out options. Remember, you are your own best advocate.
Personally, the Alternatives are what I’m focusing on now. Currently I am seeing an acupuncturist, a chiropractor, and practicing stretches 5 times a day. I don’t sit for extended periods of time, and I do a small amount of exercise, even though it hurts to do so. But every one of us is different, so you have to find what works for you.
What I Have Learned in My Pain Journey
Read my other articles to find what I have learned. I spend some time each week researching pain topics. Even if the advice doesn’t apply to me or help me, I figure it might help someone else. And helping others deal with their pain helps me feel better.
I spend time researching products and devices that are promoted as helping to relieve pain. I find myself getting excited about a device, then do some research, and find that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Let’s be honest; if there were something out there that could actually relieve chronic pain we’d all be beating down the door.
Some of these products are too expensive for me to purchase and try out. If I found enough supporting research, I would feature that device. So far, there isn’t the research yet.
I have learned about support groups and organizations that are dedicated to chronic pain sufferers. Here’s a list of a few I have found. Please take time to check them out. Click on the name, the link will take you to their site.
The Pain Connection is sponsoring several posts and articles on their Facebook page this month, as September is National Chronic Pain Month. Just knowing you are not the only one suffering can be a relief.
I have learned that doing this work distracts me from my pain, which is huge. We all know that just focusing on our pain makes it worse. So the time I spend in research, in writing, and building my sites, takes my mind off my pain. Then if I am helping someone, that makes me feel even better!
What Can You Do?
Start small. Or large! Do what you are capable of. You alone know your body. Make it a point to note your pain, your activities, your thoughts, your feelings. This is the basis for a pain diary or chart. Which is a good tool to help you get on top of your pain.
Leave a comment or question. I will do my best to answer you. Your comment or question may help somebody else. Especially if it’s something new that we all need to hear about! Just responding to this post is a step in the right direction.
Check out those support groups.
Start your own blog.
I’ve heard it said that people with chronic pain “don’t let the pain have them”, but rather “they have the pain”. Let’s fight this fight together!