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In 2016, an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults had Chronic Pain and in Canada, the numbers say approximately 1 in every 4 people lives with Persistant Pain. Chronic/Persistant Pain is described as pain that extends beyond 3 months of the estimated recovery time of an injury.
The author dealing with an Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia flare up
Chronic Pain can be caused by the following:
- Past injuries or surgeries
- Back problems
- Migraines and other headaches
- Nerve damage
- Fibromyalgia, a condition in which people feel muscle pain throughout their bodies
- Other invisible illnesses such as Lupus, MS or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Chronic pain can range from mild to severe. It can continue day after day or come and go. The pain can feel like:
- A dull ache
Sometimes pain is just one of many symptoms, which can also include:
- Feeling exhausted despite rest
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disturbances (I’m writing this at 2:30am)
- Mood changes
- Physical Weakness
- Depletion of energy
Chronic Pain and Your Mental Health
Chronic pain can interfere with your daily life, keeping you from doing things you want and need to do. It can wear on your self-esteem and make you feel angry, depressed, anxious, and frustrated. A persistant feeling of sadness may accompany Chronic Pain. Often, people with Chronic Pain have to give up work, hobbies and activities they enjoy, which leads to further depression, etc.
With such a high prevalence of Chronic Pain in North America, how does one fight back? How do you manage living with Chronic Pain and still maintain quality of life? There are a number of ways to manage, such as:
Pain Management Courses
These courses can be a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Theraphy, Meditation and Mindfulness, Injections to help with certain types of pain, and group talk where you have the support of others in a healthy moderated environment. There are also online pain management courses for those unable to get to programs in other locations. These include:
Pain Foundations BC
Online Therapy Pain Course
Pathway Through Pain
Mind Body Pain Clinics
On Amazon.com, you can also purchase the following – click each title to link directly to Amazon:
Pain Management Tools
There are a number of tools available that may help you with your Chronic Pain, and are worth trying.
Mindfulness For Pain
Hypnotic Techniques for Pain Management
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Workbook
It is my sincere hope that some of these suggestions may be just what you need to help you manage your Chronic Pain. Don’t forget to check for Pain Management Services at your local hospital as well. They often run classes of 4-8 weeks that can help you learn how to support yourself.
Medication And More
Medications play a huge role in managing your Chronic Pain. Opioids are in the news now as doctors across North America are being forced to scale back the number of prescriptions they write, but there is still a useful place for them and it’s worth discussing with your doctor to see if you can benefit.
Other medications that help include drugs like Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella for Fibromyalgia pain, Gabapentin for nerve pain, Amitriptyline for anxiety and pain, and supplements like B12, Glucosimine, Magnesium, SAMe and Vitamin D
This article from Medical News today lists a number of essential oils that can help with pain, and discusses other complementary tools such as acupuncture and yoga.
Yoga For Pain Relief
I hope that some of these suggestions will help you manage your Chronic Pain and give you some relief. If you have any suggestions for products that work well for you that I should consider in a future post, please feel free to leave a comment using this form
There Is Always Hope
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