Chronic pain is anything but a pleasant encounter, yet thousands of men and women around the world deal with such an experience on a daily basis. Characterized by pain that lasts for a period of six months or more, chronic pain can turn an individual’s life upside down, making it difficult to enjoy life as it is meant to be enjoyed. There are numerous things that can cause a person to experience chronic pain, from injuries and accidents to illnesses and medical conditions. Regardless of the cause of pain, one thing remains the same: it is never a pleasant experience. Show your support for someone with this condition.
How to Deal with Chronic Pain
In usual circumstances, the doctor will prescribe a number of different medications that the patient will use to control the pain to the best of their ability. But, these medications can do only so much for the individual. There are actually a number of mental tricks and tips that can ease some of the pain being experienced.
Some of the ‘mind tricks’ that may help ease the pain:
1- Think About Food: When you think about certain types of foods, pain-fighting chemicals in the brain are stimulated, thus easing the pain being felt. This is a fact presented after a study was conducted at the University of Wisconsin.
2- Deep breathing: Learning deep-breathing techniques is probably one of the best things that an individual with chronic pain can do to help themselves. There are many books, websites and classes that can teach a person the proper ways of deep breathing, and putting those tips and tricks to good use will help successful interventions occur.
3- Mediation: The mastery of mediation is also something that can help with chronic pain. In addition, mediation can take the mind off of other things that might be bringing an individual down. It is a great activity and has so many wonderful benefits.
4- Find a Hobby: As mentioned with mediation, having a mind distraction is very beneficial. Thus, finding a hobby or something that is of interest can help an individual with chronic pain. There are many things that an individual with chronic pain can participate in no matter what it is they enjoy.
5- Positive Visualizations: Thinking positively is something that works to help in all areas of life, including when dealing with chronic pain. If you think negative thoughts, you are training your brain always to take things in stride and for the worst. When you are thinking positive thoughts, however, your brain is more likely to respond in the same manner.
6- Mantras: Mantras are also effective at coping with chronic pain. A mantra is a word or group of positive words repeated frequently throughout the day. Once the brain hears these words or groups of words enough it will begin to believe them. Choose words related to the pain and overcoming it, and great things can happen with the use of mantras.
7- Pressure Points: The body has various areas that are known as pressure points. A pressure point is an area consisting of connecting nerves and energy fields. When these points are activated, the response to pain is numbed, resulting in less exposure to the feeling. There are many trained professionals who can assist with pressure point therapy. It might be worth the trouble to visit one of these people.
8- Listen to Music: Music speaks what we cannot say with our own lips. Listening to music on a regular basis has a soothing and calming effect on the mind. Thus, listening to music when pain strikes can help ease the mind and keep it calm when things would otherwise erupt. Whatever your musical style, add a few songs to the iPod and listen throughout the day.
9- Keep a journal: Writing your thoughts down into a notebook or journal can have amazing results. Writing can serve as mental clarity and helps you get all of those emotions out that would otherwise have been compounding inside of the mind. You can choose how and when you write in the journal, as well as what is put inside. It is a great place to let loose and let it all out.
10- Be Affectionate: Affection signals a number of chemicals in the brain, particularly serotonin. With this increase, more positive thoughts result, thus less pain is experienced. There are many ways to display affection for those that you love.
By using a combination of these techniques, it is far easier to have control over the pain that is being experienced. Most people use these, and others, to help them cope with their pain, and chances are good that they will help you just as much.
Herbs for Chronic Pain
In addition to using the mind tricks above to ease chronic pain, there are also a number of herbs that have proven effective in the elimination of chronic pain. It is a good idea that anyone who is experiencing the pain add as many of these herbs to their life as possible.
Ginger is said to have the same anti-inflammatory properties as aspirin, so adding it to your shopping list might be a good idea. Ginger tea is very popular, but there are also other ways to get ginger into your diet.
Devils Claw is said to reduce the amount of tension in the body and relax the muscles. This is an herb native to South America and can be found in a variety of substances and added to foods.
White Willow Bark
White Willow Bark has long been used as a natural remedy for a number of conditions. The native Americans are most known for its use. They used White Willow bark to treat fevers, pain and swelling. It also has some of the same properties and effects as aspirin.
Who knew this treat could help with pain? Corticosteroids are found inside of liquorice. This substance reduces inflammation by reducing the amount of cortisol found within the body.
Turmeric is an herb that many people use for cooking. Curcumin and Curcuminoids are both present in turmeric, two properties that have been proven to reduce inflammation. In addition, turmeric can also help with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or cataracts.
Flaxseed is now being hailed as a superfood. It is easy to sprinkle the seeds on any of the foods that you eat. Inside of Flaxseed is a variety of properties that work not only to reduce inflammation and ease pain, but also to help with a number of other medical conditions. In addition to sprinkling flaxseeds onto the foods that you eat, gel pills are also available.
Chile Peppers/Cayenne Pepper
Numerous studies have proven that spicy foods help alleviate pain. Thus, the addition of Chile peppers and cayenne peppers to your diet is a good idea. This pepper is especially beneficial for people with osteoporosis and arthritis, but can help with a number of other pain-related conditions as well. Cayenne works to clear the sinus cavity while the Chile peppers contain capsaicin, an ingredient that is many times found in pain medications and creams.
Bromelain is found inside of pineapples. It reduces prostaglandins in the body, which have been known to cause inflammation.
Eucommia is used by Chinese doctors for the treatment of knee pain and other conditions. It works to ease pain, but it also helps strengthen the body’s bones and ligaments. Eucommia encourages the production of collagen, so there might also be other benefits in it for the user as well. Eucommia is not available to the general population and must be administered by a medical professional. Due to the number of potential side effects, it is only wise to use it after a doctor has made a recommendation.
Most of these herbs are available at your local market or online. You might want to talk to a doctor before using any of them, especially if you are taking medications or have serious medical problems. The doctor can make a recommendation of what is best suited for your needs. The bottom line, however, is that you can find great benefit when you add herbs to the diet.
Understanding Chronic Pain
It is hard to relate to someone with chronic pain when it is not something that you are dealing with yourself. It is a life-altering experience, causing disruptions of activities that once were enjoyed. It can affect the way that an individual sleeps eats and even socializes with other people. Of course, the more severe the pain, the more symptoms that come along.
Individuals who suffer from chronic pain also are at higher risks of developing conditions such as anxiety and depression. In severe cases, suicide rates are also higher among those with chronic pain than in other categories. Sometimes these people are unaware that something is wrong since they are always trying to mask the pain that they are feeling. It is important to recognize the signs and get help immediately.
Trying to understand chronic pain when it is not something that you are experiencing for yourself isn’t easy, but if there is someone in your life that is suffering, it is essential that you do learn these things so you can not only help your loved one, but also support them at the same time. By putting yourself in their shoes, at least for the time being, can help you understand their emotional state and much more. This can help you as well as the person that is bothered by chronic pain.
Doing something as simple as talking to the person with chronic pain can give you a better understanding of how they feel and how they are coping with the effects of the pain that is being experienced. Sometimes all that we need in this life is someone to hear what we have to say, to have someone emphasize with us or try to relate.
What kind of care does the patient need? There is a good chance that a variety of medical treatments is needed for care of the person each day. Is there anything that you can do to assist with the medical treatments? Sometimes it is the small stuff that really adds up and makes a difference in an individual’s life. Knowing that you are there to help them in their day-to-day activities in itself is enough to be beneficial. What you do has an impact on the lives of others; make it an impact that counts.
Encouraging the person that is suffering from chronic pain is also essential. A person that is dealing with chronic pain is probably feeling down and already hard on themselves about what they are experiencing each day. An awesome remedy for those feelings is to know that they have your support and your encouragement to help them see things through.
Finally, make sure that you do not push the person who is dealing with the pain. If they have their mind set on avoiding certain treatments, respect their decisions and do not try to convince otherwise. A person has a lot to deal with already and worrying about your desire for them to do something that they do not want to do only adds to the emotional turmoil that they are feeling.
The Bottom Line
Dealing with something that never goes away isn’t easy for anyone, so chronic pain isn’t something that people can easily understand. It certainly has a number of implications that the sufferer must learn how to deal with to the best of their ability. While it might seem impossible, these are all proven methods in which to get better control over the situation. With the information above, dealing with pain, or helping someone that you care for who is bothered, is much easier. It is wise to put some of the mind tricks as well as the herbal remedies to good use and start dealing with the pain in an effective manner.