There are a lot of tips, resources, and articles available online regarding how to manage pain, and while most of these are very helpful it can sometimes be overwhelming to find an article that is right for you.
We’ve condensed some of this information into easy-to-manage notes, and we’ve included the links back to the original articles so that you can get easy access to the information that will help you with your pain.
To reduce your stress, the Australian Pain Management Association recommends that you plan ahead.
Some of the tips include:
- Make to-do lists for family and friends to help out.
- Prepare meals in advance on your good days and then freeze them, so that you’re not stressed if you have a bad day right before an event or gathering.
- Notify guests that you may not be the best host for the duration of the near future. Most people will be more than happy just to see you, and will appreciate the heads-up.
- Set expectations for your network as to how many responsibilities you will be taking on, and which activities you may or may not be able to handle.
Spine-Health is a site dedicated to helping those with back pain, but their chronic pain control techniques can be applied to anyone who suffers from chronic pain. You need to develop some coping muscles to walk this road, and here’s where to find them.
These techniques range from a form of meditation where you focus only on your breathing to imaginative techniques such as mental anaesthesia and dissociation. Although you may need a professional with training to help you master some of these techniques, others can be performed in your home at any time.
Strategise with your doctor
Real Warriors is a site that is dedicated to providing support to those in the armed forces, whether they be veterans, on active duty, or on medical leave. They also provide a lot of helpful information for those who suffer from chronic pain due to injuries sustained while on duty.
Their article on successfully managing chronic pain includes both an overview of what chronic pain is, along with four practical tips that could make a huge difference to your pain management. The first of these tips is that it’s necessary for you to take control of your pain management and develop a treatment plan in tandem with your physician. Make sure you receive a full medical evaluation, set up a medication plan, and stress management exercises.
Psychological care is just as important as physical care, so be sure to secure yourself a counsellor* in case you need someone to help you monitor your stress level.
Be your own best doctor
There are many articles on how to empower yourself by taking your pain management into your own hands. This resource page from PainScience.com provides a comprehensive overview of chronic pain, why self-management can make such a huge difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.
In their tips section they cover everything from water intake to self-massage and how nutrition can help with healing.
Educate yourself on pain
Freelance contributor to the ABC Health & Wellbeing site, Jane McCredie, wrote an article in 2010 on chronic-pain and some ways in which sufferers can try to manage the reality of living with such a debilitating issue.
Knowledge is considered power, and when it comes to pain management the more you know the better equipped you will be to find a strategy that works best for you.
Study up on medication
There are thousands of different medications available designed to relieve and soothe chronic pain, and those suffering have probably tried at least a few of these. HealthDirect Australia provides a list of the major ingredients in standard painkillers, and this article on pain relief medicines provides a brief overview of each type, along with links to more comprehensive information.
From paracetamol to aspirin, ibuprofen and morphine, it’s always better to read up on whatever medicines you’re taking. It’s not only for your peace of mind, it also helps you to work with your doctor when trying to find common ground with possible medications for your treatment.
Try out something different
Ayurveda is not a word that many people know, but it’s a form of yoga that has been practiced for centuries in eastern cultures. While it is not recommended that you cease all conventional pain management options, they stress that massage, proper diet, gentle stretching (asana), aromatherapy, and herbs such as turmeric and ginger can all help to reduce chronic pain and inflammation.
One of the tips they include in their article on chronic pain is to include at least 15 minutes of stretching in your routine every morning or evening. Many people suffering from chronic pain tend to avoid movement, but sometimes you need to move a little bit through the pain in order to improve your wellbeing in the long term.
Although home and natural remedies can be incredibly effective at helping those with chronic pain, there are times when conventional medication is the only thing that can provide some relief. That’s when prescription drugs come in to play.
Lifescript provide a list of 13 different pain medications that are commonly used to relieve chronic pain, a general overview of the drug, and when you can/can’t be taking this medication. This is a great resource to use if your doctor prescribes you a new medication and you’re not sure what it will do.
Learn to empathise
Whether you’re the person with chronic pain or the friend of a person suffering from chronic pain, it’s important to know how to act as an outsider to the patient’s condition. Listening skills cannot be stressed enough, as well as being on the lookout for nonverbal cues for messages underneath the verbal cues. Ask questions to help you understand what the other person is going through, and be honest about what it is you understand.
These tips are just a few of the many helpful insights from this website, dedicated to educating people on overcoming pain.
These ten websites are great resources for not only educating yourself on what chronic pain is and what it can involve, but also for providing valuable information on how to cope with and minimise the symptoms of chronic pain.
* CBHS only pays benefits towards psychology consultations when a benefit is not claimable from any other source and depending on your level of cover.