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Coping Skills for Chronic Pain

If you have chronic pain or know someone who does, then you understand what we mean when we say that chronic pain affects a lot more than the physical body. 

Chronic pain and the symptoms that come with it—like stiffness, poor balance, and reduced activity tolerance—can significantly decrease a person’s quality of life. Going to work, socializing, and even taking care of basic daily tasks like dressing and cooking are often difficult. The frustration and grief that arise because of these difficulties likely contribute to the elevated risk of mental health problems that people with chronic pain face, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse disorder.

What happens when chronic pain becomes too much? If you’re struggling because of your pain, know that there are many simple tools you can use to help you manage your physical and mental well-being and start living more fully again.

5 Skills You Can Use at Home to Cope With Chronic Pain

1. Take care of the basics. As best as you can, get enough quality sleep every night, eat a nutritious diet, avoid alcohol and other substances, and try to get some sort of physical activity every day. Prioritizing good nutrition, sleep, and exercise will not only help you manage your chronic pain but can also lower stress and elevate your mood and energy. Proper nourishment, rest, and movement are essential for your chronic pain coping toolkit.

2. Acknowledge hard feelings. People with chronic pain often experience difficult emotions like grief, anger, fear, and even hopelessness. Ignoring these feelings and pretending they don’t exist won’t make them go away. Instead, let yourself know that it’s safe and understandable to have these feelings. Consider writing about your feelings and thoughts in a journal or discussing them with a trusted support person. Then see if you can shift your focus to a more positive lens—for instance, by brainstorming what you can do to improve your situation or what you can be grateful for right now.

3. Allow yourself to ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone. Lean on family members, friends, colleagues, or even local or online support groups. Whether you need someone to talk to, a ride to your next doctor’s appointment, or some extra help around the house, there are people out there who want to stand with you on your journey toward better health. If you have the means to do so, you might try hiring certain services to further lighten your load (e.g., housekeeping, grocery delivery, landscaping, etc.). 

4. Explore new activities. Get involved in things that interest you or challenge you. Find new hobbies and activities that you can do safely and help you feel good about yourself. Enjoy the experience of being a beginner again!

5. Seek professional care. Pain management doctors who specialize in chronic pain will play a huge role in improving your quality of life by providing ongoing, personalized treatment that doesn’t rely on opioids or invasive surgery. Your pain specialist can help you create a custom plan of care that maximizes your function while minimizing symptoms, helping you enjoy more days with less pain. Other providers who also can help include physical therapists, psychologists, and dietitians.

You Can Live Better With Chronic Pain—And Find Relief, Too

If you’re ready to connect with an Ohio pain management doctor and get help for your chronic pain, contact Integrated Pain Solutions now at  614-383-6450 to schedule an appointment. Our entire team is ready to watch you thrive with personalized care that keeps your goals top of mind. Please take time to review our Patient Resources and call today to get started. 

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RECENT POSTS

June 13, 2022
Coping Skills for Chronic Pain
June 8, 2022
How to Know When You Need a Neck Pain Doctor
May 13, 2022
Why Choose Pain Management?
April 18, 2022
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Where is your pain? How long have you been in pain? Days/weeks/months/years? Do you have a diagnosis already, and if so, what is it? Have you had a previous surgery that failed to relieve your pain?

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