Living with daily chronic pain can be physically and emotionally exhausting, not just leaving you in severe discomfort but also influencing your mood and overall sense of wellbeing.
There are lots of different products and medications available for you to try, however there are also different ways to deal with daily chronic pain to help you stay focused on recovery.
1) Distractions and Visualization
It sounds simple but creating a distraction from your pain can be really effective. It could be taking up a new hobby or simply planning time with family or friends where you can relax in a place that is comfortable for you.
Visualization is also a powerful tool and many people report a positive experience in relation to back pain.
One of the most popular visualization techniques is what is known as ‘altered focus’, this is a technique used to demonstrate to you how powerfully the mind can alter sensations in the body.
So focus your attention on any specific non-painful part of the body and alter the sensation in your mind, for example, imagine your hand warming up. This will take the mind away from focusing on the source of your pain – there are also many other effective imagery control techniques.
Hear first hand from others suffering from chronic pain and their experience of visualization here.
2) Breathing Techniques
Breathing techniques can be really effective in helping you to control the pain.
Pain is increased when you’re feeling stressed out, and with daily chronic pain it’s hard not to feel this way, so breathing techniques can really help you to relax.
Focusing on your core is said to help with lower back pain for example, so try following this video tutorial to help you try breathing techniques that focus on your core and help you manage your pain:
You can also combine your breathing techniques with vizualisation as directed here:
3) Track Your Pain Levels and Activity
Sometimes when dealing with daily chronic pain you can suffer from feeling like you have a lack of control over your condition and that can make it more difficult to deal with day to day.
Taking the time to track your pain levels and the activities you’ve done, can make you feel a little more in control, as it can demonstrate to you the activities that are causing increased pain intensity.
This is a great technique especially if you’re between treatments as it can help you feel in control of the pain and your own care.
There are a number of different apps available to help you keep track on your mobile, including Chronic Pain Tracker, a handy little free app that allows you to record activities, pain intensity and also pain location to help you understand what is causing your pain.
The American Association of Chronic Pain also publishes an app, as well as handy downloadable record sheets that you can fill in on a daily basis, if you find it easier to track this way.
4) Choose a Chiropractor
Chiropractors use their hands to perform what are referred to as ‘manual therapies’ to treat a range of different conditions with emphasis on the spine, benefiting people with many different conditions.
When dealing with chronic pain and waiting for surgery or further treatment, a chiropractor could give you the relief you desperately need, and statistics show they’re a popular choice amongst Americans.
In fact for those with long term conditions, a study has shown that chiropractic care is more effective in treating pain intensity than pain clinics, which only tend to focus on the symptoms of the pain.
5) Consider Other Alternative Therapies
Physical Therapy is another option you might want to consider to help deal with daily chronic pain, as statistics show it can be an effective treatment.
It covers a range of different interventions including manual therapy, ice/heat therapy, ultrasound and traction therapy. The aim is to improve your overall function, movement and general wellbeing.
The focus is very much on you, the patient, building up a rapport and working in partnership to achieve your goal of recovering or simply learning to live with your condition.
Acupuncture can also help when dealing with day to day pain. Acupuncture looks at the two opposing forces, ying and yang, and treats where a imbalance occurs between the two, blocking the flow of vital energy throughout our body, with the aim to restore equilibrium.
Here are some commonly asked questions about acupuncture from a provider to give you more information on how it could help.
Hypnosis looks at your perception of pain and aims to alter it to help you cope better day to day.
Some practitioners hypnotize their patients, whilst others will teach you how to hypnotize yourself, often seen as more of a relaxation technique, so you can interrupt your body’s response to your daily pain.