Pain, Pain, Go Away—The Practical Side
At least 100 million Americans suffer from “chronic pain” according to WebMd (www.webmd.com). There is a vast difference from what I call “regular pain” or “acute pain” and “chronic pain.” Acute pain is your body’s normal response to illness or injury and only lasts a short amount of time. Acute pain goes away with treatment—in 6 months or less. Chronic pain, however, is constant and re-occurring and lasts 6 months or more. In fact, chronic pain can last years.
Perhaps you know or have known someone with chronic pain. Some of the most common types of chronic pain include headaches, back pain and arthritis. Or perhaps you have known someone to pass from cancer or congestive heart failure and watched them deal with chronic pain—especially as their disease/illness progressed.
Whether you have experienced it first- hand or witnessed it in someone else, dealing with chronic pain can seem a daunting and difficult task. Since the body is connected to both the mind and spirit, pain impacts all of these parts of our humanity in a profound way when it goes on long enough to become chronic. It seeps from our bodies into out psyches as time unfolds.
However, if you are reading this and realizing enough time has passed for you to actually be considered as living with chronic pain, I am here to offer you hope. There are many things you can do to help your body along as it fights the battle of chronic pain. And, as you help your body, you will in turn feed both your soul and mind as they cannot help but benefit from positive lifestyle choices.
Here is a list of simple things you can do when you are experiencing chronic pain. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it is a good start to helping you find your best life now.
1. See a doctor. A doctor can help diagnose you and work with you to find the best medical solutions to your issues.
2. See a therapist. A therapist will support you and help you identify and implement life skills and strategies to support both your mind and body in your current life season.
3. Rest and relax. Carve out down time. Practice meditation or relaxation. (P.s. A therapist can help with this too.)
4. Stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake.
5. Eat a healthy well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water to properly fuel your body.
6. Journal. Journal about your health, your feelings, your struggles, anything at all that helps you manage your feelings.
7. Join a support group.
If you feel you are experiencing chronic pain, please see a medical doctor first. And then, make an appointment with a licensed clinician who can help you navigate the emotional side of living with pain. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with a seasoned psychotherapist who can provide the support and expertise you need.