Such as myself, I am learning of more and more people living with chronic pain. Your comments are welcome and needed here. . .
The effects of chronic pain as written in cleveland clinic.org:
http://clevelandclinic.org Chronic pain can lead to a chronic stress reaction involving an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This stress reaction can contribute to adverse health effects such as lowered immunity and an increased risk for conditions such as heart disease. Chronic pain’s physical effects include tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury. Such a fear might hinder a person’s ability to return to normal work or leisure activities.
The treatment and management of chronic pain
The ideal treatment for chronic pain is a comprehensive approach that addresses a person’s physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Successful treatment requires choosing a life-long plan of wellness that might include:
- Doctor services
- Physical therapy
- Psychological interventions
- Occupational therapy
Daily living tips for the person with chronic pain
- Learn how to relax through deep breathing and other stress management techniques.
- Set achievable goals and don’t “over do it” on good days. Learn to pace yourself.
- Engage in positive self-talk (statements that reaffirm positive qualities).
- Build in rest pauses, exercise, and relaxation times in your daily schedule.
- Join a chronic pain support group and/or find the nearest meeting for the American Pain Society.
- Know your medicines, including expected benefits and side effects. When the “cost” exceeds the benefit, ask your doctor if something else might be a better choice. If you are on a medicine that allows you to function and to have a normal mood and activity level, then the medicine is working. If the medicine hinders your desire or ability to be active, there might be a better choice of medicine for you. Follow any medicine as prescribed, but ask questions. Is a medicine being prescribed to treat symptoms or to manage an underlying disease?
- Decrease or eliminate alcohol consumption. Pain often disrupts sleep and alcohol can further disrupt the sleep cycle.
- Quit smoking. Cigarettes can impair healing and have been identified as a risk factor in the development of many diseases including degenerative disc disease, a leading cause of low back pain.
The management of chronic pain requires that all aspects of the individual be considered. When chronic pain is managed effectively, a person can return to a more productive and fulfilling lifestyle.
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