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Getting a diagnosis that involves chronic pain is a devastating change. Chances are, you have been experiencing pain for some time before finally visiting the doctor. But beforehand, you could imagine getting some kind of medical treatment that brings the pain to an end.
Now, things are very different. As the doctor explained, you will have to live with that pain for the rest of your life. Rather than let it take over, there are things you can do to live more easily with chronic pain. Read on for some tips, including what changes you can make in your home.
What To Do First
The doctor and their staff likely gave you some instructions for dealing with chronic pain. They might have even made a referral to a specialist for you. Still, you might be wondering what to do first with this devastating news.
Besides taking your medicine, you need to process the diagnosis of chronic pain. My Chronic Pain Team explains you have to avoid “What if” scenarios. Don’t waste your mental strength on what could have been since there’s no way to change it. Although chronic pain won’t limit everything you do, you also need to say no when you can’t do something. There’s no shame is acknowledging a new reality.
Spine-Health also talks about being aware of depression. It makes sense to be sad or upset over your chronic pain. But if the sadness gets debilitating or never improves, you may need to see a therapist or psychologist. This is as normal as seeing a doctor for your pain in the first place. You should also speak to your family and loved ones about depression, as sometimes just talking about it can help.
Strategies For An Easier Life
Your doctor will help the most for your chronic pain management, but as The Mighty shows, there are things you can do to make your life easier. For example, exercise may be hard, but it can really help with your pain management. In fact, the more fit you can become, the better off things are for you. That’s why you should also change your diet to eat more healthfully.
You also need to get the rest you need. When you have chronic pain, you will need to get enough sleep — and to take breaks when you need it. That’s another reason to eat healthy and exercise. Your body will have more energy that way.
When it comes to fighting the depression that can come with chronic pain, Psychology Today explains that you need to forgive people and yourself. Your loved ones will make mistakes that lead to flare ups, but so will you. Instead of holding onto that frustration, forgiveness will help you be happier.
A Better Home Environment
Getting fit and forgiving others can certainly help, but remember that you spend a lot of time in your house. That means you can help yourself deal with chronic pain better if your house is in order.
As Redfin points out, that can mean decluttering and organizing your home. Witnessing a mess isn’t horribly stressful or anything, but seeing a clean, organized environment is more soothing. Considering the stress dealing with chronic pain can bring, you need a soothing and peaceful home.
You can also change your diet. Besides eating healthy, foods like cold-water fish, high-fiber fruits, and whole grains can help reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Small Changes Can Help
It’s not like you can ignore your doctor’s advice, so always stick with their plan. But in addition to specialists and prescriptions, you need to avoid “What ifs”, live more healthfully, and keep your home organized. All of this can help you better manage your chronic pain.
By: Jackie Waters