In order to understand these guidelines better, let’s first define the two most common types of pain – acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is short-termed and it heals quickly.
For example, when you break a bone – it heals, when you cut yourself – it heals. These are all acute pains or short pains. Chronic pain is something different and probably much worse.
Chronic pain is usually determined as a pain which lasts over 3 months (although some experts claim that it is chronic if it lasts more than 6 months).
Cause & Symptoms
The causes and sources of the chronic pain can be different. Often, the person himself doesn’t even know what causes the pain. Chronic pain might have not only one, but various small causes.
Finding out the source of the pain can sometimes be a confusing and difficult task. You will probably have to visit different professionals and make many analyses.
It may take time and effort but it is very important to know the cause of your chronic pain. Otherwise, you won’t know how to treat and handle it in order to find relief.
While there may be no straight answer to what caused it, the symptoms of chronic pain are quite familiar. This is how you will recognize that you are suffering from chronic pain:
– Long lasting pain
– Repetitive periods of pain
– Not being able to find the source and the cause of the pain
– Unsuccessful medical treatments
– Unable to find relief
The most common chronic pains are: back pains, chronic headaches, pain caused by arthritis (or joint pain), abdominal or chest pain and many others.
Treating chronic pain depends mostly from the type of pain. However, there are some common treatment rules that all chronic pains have in common.
In general, treating chronic pain is a complex process and there can’t be just one cure. Often, a combination of many different types of strategies has shown the best results.
The best strategies to help with chronic pain are usually combinations of medical treatment, physical treatment and psychological help.
Combining the proper medical treatment in the form of pain killers, together with an appropriate form of physical activity and help from talking with a professional psychologist is the key to overcoming chronic pain.
Depending on the type of pain, you can also incorporate some alternative medical solutions, such as acupuncture or other herbal supplements.
Apart from these three crucial steps, there are also many other ways in which you can help yourself and relief the feeling that chronic pain causes:
Meditate and breathe deeply. Meditation and deep breathing are both techniques that will help you relax and calm your body.
Exercise. When you are exercising your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are the key to improving your mood and stop thinking about the pain.
Find a team of well trained professionals. This is one of the most important things when you are dealing with chronic pain. You probably already know that just one doctor is not enough.
That’s why you should find a different professional for every aspect of your life. For example, a neurologist, a physician, a physical therapist or a rheumatologist, all devoted to each problem you are dealing with.
Avoid stress. Stress is your biggest enemy when you are fighting with chronic pain. Do positive things in your everyday life and stay out of stressful situations.
Distract yourself. When you feel the pain coming, go out with friends. Chatting on interesting subjects or going shopping will set your mind on something other than the pain.
Healthy diet. You might think that your diet has nothing to do with your chronic pains. Even if this is true, healthy eating will benefit on many other aspects of life and in this way it can help you overcome chronic pain.
Massage. Massages can really help you recover your body. A nice, relaxing massage is always welcomed.
Go to therapy. Therapy will help you change the way you look at yourself, the way you accept the pain and will improve your thinking. Depression is very common in people with chronic pain and that’s why a professional therapist can help you improve.
Adapt your lifestyle. If you are diagnosed with chronic pain, you must make some changes. You will have to adapt your lifestyle so that you can reduce the pain. Eat healthy, do sports, sleep well, think positive – all these are changes you will have to get used to.