Just about everyone experiences pain sometimes, but for some people, the pain can last longer than the typical healing time. Chronic pain can persist for months, sometimes even years and can have a major impact on one’s day-to-day life and mental health.
People suffering from chronic pain find it challenging to perform ADLs and this can further reduce their quality of life. Although the condition can be hard to treat, it can be managed. And the best way to go about it is to address each factor causing your pain.
Individuals managing their pain on a daily basis get the best results. There are many pain management strategies that can help. Here are some tips to help you manage chronic pain:
1. Physical exercise (Walking and stretching)
Waking or even pacing can ease some of the pain by directly blocking pain signals to the brain. Exercise helps increase blood flow and can alleviate pain by ensuring your muscles are well conditioned.
Stretching, on the other hand, can help improve your range of movement and oxygen flow, which helps the body to heal. It’s also great for reducing stress levels and helping you relax more. Regular exercise can be taxing, but it’s essential if you want to keep the pain at manageable levels.
You might think exercise will aggravate the pain, but that’s not necessarily the case. Still, you should take care not to overdo it otherwise you may risk your pain levels shooting up. If you haven’t been active for a while, start small and increase your activity over time.
2. Relaxation techniques
Daily relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and decrease muscle tension. When our muscles are tense, the pressure on body tissues and nerves increases and so does the pain. Simple techniques such deep breathing, meditation or even yoga can help you relax and reduce your pain levels.
3. Positive attitude
Adopting an attitude of positive expectation can greatly improve your quality of life. A positive attitude creates a chain of positive thoughts and outcomes and can significantly boost your ability to cope with pain.
4. Healthy sleep
A good night’s rest can help you cope with pain. In fact, lack of sleep increases stress level making the pain worse. Given that an estimated two-thirds of all people suffering from chronic pain report sleep disorders, getting quality and sufficient sleep should be a priority. Making simple changes to your daytime and bedtime routines can have a big impact on how well you sleep.
5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a psychological technique which can be used to help people deal with chronic pain and develop better coping skills. The premise of CBT is that individuals – not the environment — create and control their own experiences. The technique can help people identify and develop skills to improve their mental health and minimise their awareness of pain.
Chronic pain can be tough to live with but with the right approach, you can be able to reduce the pain and over time, improve your quality of life.
For more information on how to manage chronic pain, you can enquire here. Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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