Dealing with Chronic Pain

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Control the pain, don’t let it control you.

When I was a kid, my mom broke her leg in three places while walking our dog in the winter. She was almost completely immobile for a very long time, and even once her leg finally healed and she could walk again, life was never quite the same for her. It was harder for her to walk long distances and climb stairs; she told me that the pain would get so bad sometimes, it took everything she had to keep from falling over. These days, though, she’s doing a lot better, and even goes snowshoeing with friends sometimes. That’s because she learned how to take control of her chronic pain, and you can too.

The best thing you can do to mitigate chronic pain is try to reduce stress in your life. Chronic pain is often caused by damaged or misaligned nerves firing improperly, and high stress levels can cause those misfires to occur more frequently and at higher intensity. Learn deep breathing, or even meditation, and perform them regularly to keep yourself in check. It can also help a lot to talk to other people that are going through the same thing. There are support groups all over the world and online where people who suffer from these conditions can share their experiences and shoulder each others’ pain.

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You should also try to foster a good relationship with your physician. A good doctor can help you keep track of your pain, its rate of occurrence, and its intensity, and let you know if there are any changes you can make to your lifestyle to lessen it. It might help to keep track of how you spend your time during the day, as there may be a correlation between your pain and particular activities that you’re not seeing.

Chronic pain can be absolutely awful to live with, but you can take control of it. Don’t lose your life to the pain, learn to work around it.