Pain is a stressor in everyone’s life. We all experience the pain as simple as a headache or even an injury that may require a bit more attention. Then there are many individuals that suffer from debilitating, unrelenting pain resulting in chronic pain.
Any type of pain you may experience creates frustration, fatigue, and additional stress. Additional stress can then lead to increased pain. Increased pain leads to increased stress, reducing your ability to cope, and thus starting a vicious cycle of increased stress and pain.
To break the cycle of pain many go to the aid of medications. The problem with most pain relieving medications is that they are highly addictive and they only mask the symptoms of pain, not solving the central problem. Over long periods of time many narcotic pain relievers prescribed to patients with chronic pain actually worsen their pain by decreasing their pain tolerance. Sometimes limiting and eliminating some medications is extremely beneficial in reducing their pain.
There are other ways besides medication that will aid you in breaking the cycle of pain.
Stress Management – Meditation, deep breathing, journaling, acupuncture, and other relaxation techniques can be utilized to relax your body and your mind in order to minimize the stress and pain you experience. Relaxation will help you better handle the pain when it comes and reduce the risk of loosing control of your stress and pain levels.
Psychotherapy –Talking with a mental health professional is also a beneficial way to learn how to reduce your stress and even reduce your pain. A therapist will help to discover strategies for handling the emotions that come with experiencing stress.
Physical Therapy – Physical therapy targets the areas in your body that are feeling the side effects of pain. A physical therapist can assist you in discovering your trigger points and develop personalized modifications to reduce your pain.
Perspective – Having a clear, accurate perspective on your pain is crucial in trying to break the endless cycle. Try to understand what causes your pain, what makes your pain better; what stresses you out, what reduces your stress. This is probably the hardest method, but is the most powerful way to handle your pain and pain related stress. Many of the previous strategies will help you achieve a greater perspective on your pain and learn how to better manage it in order to end the cycle.
This week I will be hosting a Chronic Pain Twitter Support Group this Friday 10/19/12 @10:00am est. Join me @elizabethndrew #WomenHealthStress.