Chronic pain: manage it with these top tips

Is your pain all in your head? Learn how to manage chronic pain regardless of its origins.

man with chronic pain sore neck

If you’re one of the many people who suffers from some form of chronic pain, then you’ll know it can be a burden that’s hard to bear some days.

And no doubt you will have had someone tell you that the pain is all in your head. In some instances, it may be true, but whether or not the pain is in your head, the psychological factors that cause pain, such as stress or depression, can make your pain seem very real. And just because you may be manifesting the pain, doesn’t make it seem any less real.

Regardless of the source of your pain stems, here are five tips from psychologist Ellen Hendriksen to help you cope with your chronic pain.

1. It’s not your fault, but you can take care of it
Pain has a way of making you feel down on life, but instead of worrying why it’s happening to you, the best way to manage it is to take control. Brooding over why you are feeling pain only increases tension, and that tension leads to more pain.

2. Get motivated
Whilst rest may be a wise treatment for acute pain, such as a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle, the trick to managing chronic pain is to get active. A short walk, a quick bike ride, gentle yoga stretches or some simple chair exercises are not only ideal for getting your muscles loose, but also for taking your mind off your pain. It’s also great for dealing with depression that can be associated with suffering chronic ailments.

3. Track your pain
Keeping a pain diary can help you track your pain and show you the indicators of why it may be happening. Over the course of a couple of weeks, make notes about how your feeling, as well as your exercise routine (or lack thereof), your diet and your general routine. Then check over your notes to see if you can make a connection between how you’re feeling and what may have caused it. And don’t just monitor the times you feel bad – it’s just as important to note the good times, as these will give you the best clues on how to manage your pain over the long term.

4. Know your limits
If your pain becomes overwhelming, don’t keep pushing it. Instead, try a technique called ‘pacing’. If you feel your pain becoming worse, then back off. Break down your activities into smaller blocks. Learn your limits. If your back begins to hurt whilst you’re doing the laundry, have a cuppa and relax for five minutes, then get back into it. Stop your pain before it flares up and learn to prevent it. After all, prevention is better than not being able to get out of bed the next day.

5. Question your pain
It’s worth noting to yourself that you may be your own worst enemy. If you believe your pain won’t get any better then chances are it won’t. The more proactive you are about managing your pain, the faster will be your recovery, or at least you’ll have less pain.

With a positive attitude and a few habit changes, you can manage your pain. Don’t let it get you down and, if it does, do some things that put you in a more constructive mindset to give you the energy to beat that beast of burden. Tell yourself you can do it and your chances of managing your pain will improve.

Do you have any tips for managing pain? Why not share them with our members?

Read more at www.quickanddirtytips.com

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    COMMENTS

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    Miss Piggy
    24th Jul 2017
    11:03pm
    Sorry Ellen Hendriksen, but when there are a couple of bones, in one or more major joints, wearing away by grating together day in and day out, and surgery is not an option, then no amount of exercise (??), cups of tea, tracking, taking notes etc. is worth a damn, no matter how positively you try to think about it. Tried the opiates - sent me further round the twist than I was already, and I'm not planning to add renal failure to the mix with an overboard diet of codeine etc. Tried to grin and bear it - the grin became a rictus. What other advice do you have?
    PlanB
    9th Jul 2018
    1:01pm
    Miss Piggy, I know just where you are coming from-- when you have a collapsed spine and have bone on bone and compressed nerves in most areas plus Spinal Stenosis -- cups of tea have no darn effect -- I am still very supple but I am unable to stand without crippling pain for more than 2 minutes --

    I think this is the latest fad -- that pain clinics Physiotherapists etc are putting out now, -- that ALL pain can be controlled with the mind -- which is absolute rubbish.

    Yes I agree that pain can FEEL worse if you are an anxious or depressed person but you know if you are and I know I am NOT
    PlanB
    10th Jul 2018
    9:00am
    Miss Piggy, I know just where you are coming from-- when you have a collapsed spine and have bone on bone and compressed nerves in most areas plus Spinal Stenosis -- cups of tea have no darn effect -- I am still very supple but I am unable to stand without crippling pain for more than 2 minutes --

    I think this is the latest fad -- that pain clinics Physiotherapists etc are putting out now, -- that ALL pain can be controlled with the mind -- which is absolute rubbish.

    Yes I agree that pain can FEEL worse if you are an anxious or depressed person but you know if you are and I know I am NOT
    Maggie
    7th Aug 2018
    11:12am
    I read what you and Miss Peggy wrote and my heart went out to you. I am with you where you say that ALL pain cannot be controlled with the mind. If it could my old mind would be overworked I tell you.

    My experience with the professionals has been good. The wonderful pain specialist I see acknowledged my pain, and has tried everything he knows to help me.

    There is good evidence that some really rough pain can be controlled by hypnosis, and it has been used by some dentists with success. Hypnosis can also help some people to handle their pain better. See /www.hypnosisdownloads.com/pain-relief/neuropathic-pain.

    There is an advert in there for books or CDs - but please note it is not my intention to advertise for these people.

    There is a lot of research and experimental work being done to relieve pain, so don't give up hope.
    PlanB
    7th Aug 2018
    4:46pm
    I just had a look at this self-hypnosis sites, Maggie, -- they appear to be much the same as the Pain Clinic I attended the other week -- all it was was a lot of "Fairy Dust " and meditation type stuff, some pain cannot be controlled by being calm or with such things -- I am a very calm person with no anxiety at all but it does not help bone on nerves.
    But thanks anyway
    ROB
    7th Aug 2018
    4:19pm
    Why not use something simple, easy to use as applying a band aide, already proven, safe, effective, low cost and found to be easing chronic pain minutes? The same non transdermal Phototherapy patches as used in hospitals in Europe and elsewhere about the world. These patches are now used by millions of people and are readily available in Australia.
    PlanB
    7th Aug 2018
    4:52pm
    I have those Rob, but they too need upping the dose down the track -- they are not a lot different in that way to other pain meds, the pain gets worse and so you need more.

    They also do not ease the pain in minutes -- b4 you get used to them they cause you to vomit and also bring you out in itching blisters -- which last for weeks they are not as easy as you make out.

    I want to get to be able to use a decompression machine -- but there are only 6 in the whole of Australia -- and none anywhere near me
    ROB
    7th Aug 2018
    5:30pm
    Absolutely NOT the same patches PlanB - These are NON Transdermal and even with the millions of people using them of ALL ages there has NEVER been a negative side effect other than feeling a little Nauseous initially with the Detox effect (A good thing with the detox anyway and they can be removed for a time until the body adjusts - not like dugs :) ), and sometimes a rash effect under or around the area with the energy transfer between the patch and the body. The patches will also work on top of clothing, even plaster casts - so definitely NOTHING going into the body to cause bed effects! Having personally assisted thousands of people around the world with the patches for various conditions we certainly know how they work and HOW WELL they work.
    PlanB
    8th Aug 2018
    8:08am
    Rob, I am very interested in these patches you speak of -- can you tell me the name of them please -- and where to get them as I am willing to try anything
    ROB
    8th Aug 2018
    10:00am
    Try email at wellnessplus@adam.com.au
    PlanB
    8th Aug 2018
    10:24am
    Rob I am not into giving out my email to people I do not know -- can you please tell me about this product -- thank you
    ROB
    8th Aug 2018
    1:42pm
    We appreciate your reluctance with emails PlanB, but too much to explain fully in here. It is a whole new technology that is quickly replacing many treatments, therapies, procedures and even stem cell procedures and is something an individual can use safely and effectively in home. There will soon be a dedicated outlet existing in King William Road in Adelaide where you can find out more about the patches and even sample how quick and effective they are for easing many pain issues. As the pain can ease in minutes, even seconds sometimes, you will quickly know if they are for you. While the pain is eased they also create accelerated repair, faster than any other method known to day, so is well worthwhile chasing up in the future. We will try and post details of the King William Road outlet when available if YLC allows?
    PlanB
    8th Aug 2018
    1:53pm
    OK I have sent email Rob


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