Living and Thriving with Chronic Pain

When you have a chronic health condition that causes you pain, it is difficult to remain positive. Chronic pain can make you irritable, tired from putting up a brave front and the trivial things that wouldn’t otherwise bother you can become a major source of irritation.

Common chronic pain complaints can include joint pain from arthritis, injuries, back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, neuropathy and many more.  A good pain management specialist can help you with options to alleviate the physical pain, but you may also need support to help handle the stress and emotional cost that often comes with your condition.

As someone who has suffered from chronic pain, I can relate to the frustrating aspects it can bring to your life. For me, routine things like doing the laundry and loading the dishwasher became a very painful experience.  It can also keep you from enjoying time with friends and family.

I have tried all the things mentioned above and medications as well.  The problem is that all of this can leave you feeling depressed and frustrated. Living with chronic pain is exhausting. Friends and family don’t understand because it is an invisible illness. You look fine so what’s wrong with you?

Haven spoken to many different people across the country about their chronic pain, one thing is pretty evident. They want relief and will go through procedures, do physical therapy, and try medications just to get some time that is pain free.

Chronic arthritis in my back has changed my life in significant ways from difficulty with household tasks, walking, and even getting a good night’s sleep.  Along with help from my pain management specialist and physical therapy, I find practicing relaxation, and Mindfulness strategies have been a great addition to my treatment plan.

What is one to do when facing chronic pain?

First, with the help of your primary care doctor get a referral to a pain management specialist. Always follow the recommendations of your doctor. Every case is different. They can help with treatment options, including physical therapy, medications, and procedures that can be done to manage your pain.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations. Do your physical therapy exercises at home and attend all physical therapy as it can be very effective for managing pain. If that is what is determined by your doctor that you need.

Sometimes you may need to find a therapist to talk to while you are dealing with all of this. Having chronic pain can affect your relationships. The stress of it can take it’s toll on the ones you love the most. It can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional so that they can teach you relaxation techniques such as progressive body muscle relaxation and Mindfulness strategies. Some therapists even incorporate Yoga into their practice.

Chronic Pain can be managed. It is not always easy, but you can improve the quality of your life by coordinating with your doctors, physical therapist, and counseling can help you to thrive and live a full life.

If you feel like you could benefit from Counseling to deal with an issue related to chronic pain, please contact Kate Fagan-Nelson to schedule an appointment at 309-826-3566 or kate@nelsonfamilycounseling .com.