Any diagnosis can be scary. Being diagnosed with a chronic pain condition is no different. You may feel scared or lonely. You may not know who to turn to or where to go for help. If you are feeling like a victim of chronic pain, the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) offers these steps to help you look beyond yourself as simply a chronic pain patient.
STEP 1: Accept the Pain: Spend time learning about your condition, and gathering all the informational resources you can (visit our pain checker). Accept that pain is a part of your life, and that there may be no cure for your condition.
STEP 2: Get Involved: Speak with your physician about what you can do outside of the office to take in active role in treating your pain. Understand that being involved in your treatment plan increases it’s success.
STEP 3: Learn to Set Priorities: Make a list of things that are most important to you outside of your pain condition. Making priorities will help you being living the life you want.
STEP 4: Set Realistic Goals: Set goals which are accomplishable, and then break those goals into smaller steps. Your pain physician can help you set goals that are manageable and realistic for you.
STEP 5: Know Your Basic Rights: “We all have basic rights. Among these are the right to be treated with respect, to say no without guilt, to do less than humanly possible, to make mistakes, and to not need to justify your decisions, with words or pain,” states the ACPA.
STEP 6: Recognize Emotions: Understand that your mind and body are interconnected, and your emotions affect your physical well-being. Take the steps necessary to acknowledge your feelings and decrease your stress in order, in turn reducing the pain.
STEP 7: Learn to Relax: “Pain increases in times of stress,” states the ACPA. Learn some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization. By taking time to relax your mind and body, you will be better equipped to manage the pain.
STEP 8: Exercise: While exercise can seem scary or impossible when you’re in chronic pain, it can actually help to relieve your pain. Speak with your pain physician about implementing an exercise regimen that works for you and your lifestyle.
STEP 9: See the Total Picture: Realize that pain does not need to control your life. By following the steps above, you can regain control over the pain you feel, and experience life the way you want to and the way you deserve it. The ACPA states, “You will grow stronger in your belief that you can live a normal life in spite of chronic pain.”
STEP 10: Reach Out: Over 100 million people suffer from chronic pain in the United States. When you have taken control of your life and managed your pain, let those around you learn from the steps you have taken. Find ways to reach out and share your story of triumph.
At PMIR, you can expect your physician to help you craft individualized chronic pain treatment plans to suit your needs and lifestyle. Call your closest office location today to schedule a consult.