The number of Canadians living with a diagnosis of chronic pain has been increasing in recent years. As more people must now manage this condition, it’s imperative to discover new therapies and management tools to help patients live their best lives.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with chronic pain, you likely want to know more about what can currently be done for your condition.
How do you manage chronic pain?
Tips for coping with chronic pain include using approved pain management therapies such as medical cannabis, participating in physical activity if at all possible, learning mindfulness techniques, and more.
1. Use an Approved Therapy
Doctors will likely prescribe you something for your chronic pain in order to help you cope with the pain and manage it more effectively.
Most doctors are now trying to move away from opioid treatments, as these treatments have unpleasant side effects. They’re also highly addictive, which can increase your risk of overdose and death.
Other therapies include certain anti-depressants, which may help in cases of nerve damage and spinal cord injuries. Medical cannabis is also well-studied as a treatment for chronic pain. It’s seen to be much safer than opioid treatments.
2. Engage in Physical Activity
There are many benefits to staying in motion, although it’s not always possible for those who have chronic pain. Depending on your abilities and the type of pain you have, you may be able to benefit from physiotherapy or exercise if at all possible.
For conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, it’s recommended to keep moving in order to keep the joints from stiffening up. If you can participate in physical activity, even if it is limited, it could help you better manage your chronic pain.
In particular, yoga is an excellent low-impact activity that can help many patients manage and reduce their pain.
3. Mind over Matter
When you’re coping with chronic pain, it’s important to focus on the mental aspect of it as well. Depression often goes hand in hand with conditions such as a chronic pain.
Meditation and other mindfulness techniques can help some patients cope with their pain. While mindfulness won’t necessarily reduce your pain, it can help make you more resilient and better able to cope with the pain you’re experiencing.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress can increase your pain, so if you find yourself under significant stress, look for ways to eliminate, reduce, and manage it more effectively.
Mindfulness can be one way to begin reducing stress. Exercise, no matter how limited, can be another.
There are other ways to reduce stress as well. If you have a hobby or can take part in an activity you enjoy, you may be able to reduce some of the stress you feel. Even a small self-care activity, such as taking a bath or reading a book, can be beneficial.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
For many patients, chronic pain interferes with their ability to sleep. In turn, being tired could also increase stress levels and worsen pain. Getting a good night’s rest is important in the effective management of chronic pain.
How can you be sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep? One popular treatment is medical cannabis. It’s a better, safer alternative to opioid medications and sleeping pills, which carry with them a risk of addiction and overdose.
6. Join a Support Group
Living with chronic pain can be isolating. Other people may not understand your condition, or they may not be sympathetic. By joining a support group, you can meet others who understand what you’re going through.
You can also learn from them about how to better manage your stress and pain levels.
With these tips in hand, you’ll be better able to manage your chronic pain and increase your quality of life.