Chronic pain is a problem that extends beyond the strict definition of pain. It affects people mentally and emotionally as much as it does physically. Having a pain that resists treatment and persists day and night, day after day is enough to drive you to distraction, rob you of sleep and interfere with your ability to enjoy normal activities. Emotionally, it can drive a person to despair. And indeed, it’s said that more than 60% of all people suffering from chronic pain also wind up suffering some degree of depression. The most important thing then becomes learning how to deal with chronic pain before it overwhelms you. Below we’ll provide some helpful tips.
What is Pain?
Pain is the way your body warns you against dangerous behavior and alerts you to physical problems. In most people, pain subsides when the dangerous activity is stopped or when the physical problem has been effectively treated. For some people though, their body fails to recognize those important markers and it continues to send pain signals to the brain. Sometimes indefinitely. This is called chronic pain.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that just as we have aspirin, NSAIDs and other medications to help us deal with everyday aches and pains, so too there are ways we can bring chronic pain to heal and prevent it from ruining our quality of life.
Tips for How to Deal With Chronic Pain
Some of the following techniques will work well for some people but not so well for others. The important thing then is to try them all until you find one, or ideally several, that provide some type of relief for you.
● Exercise – While not everyone experiencing chronic pain will be able to exercise, many will. Exercise can get the blood flowing at an increased rate which should help loosen up muscles and bring more oxygen to the brain. Vigorous exercise also releases endorphins, compounds that produce the pleasure effect.
● Meditate – Meditation has been used for thousands of years to help people clear their minds and relax. It can be very useful for those looking to gain relief from chronic pain. Meditation can also help calm the body and mind so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Very important if you’re to feel your best.
● Relaxation techniques – While meditation is certainly one effective relaxation technique it’s not the only one. Deep breathing techniques can go a long way toward relieving emotional distress and helping you calm down. There are literally hundreds of deep breathing exercise videos freely available on the internet. As well as myriad websites where you can learn breathing techniques from recognized experts.
● Visualization techniques – Sometimes called ‘visual imagery and distraction’ this technique involves conjuring up pleasant, peaceful images either from your imagination or from memory and focusing on them. Sometimes there may be word associations involved as well. And other times the word association will be a separate relaxation technique. The goal is to steer the mind away from the pain and toward other, more productive and calming stimulus.
● Biofeedback – With biofeedback, the patient learns to gain precise control over their bodily functions including muscle tension, heart rate and more. As you become more adept at controlling the various aspects of your physiology you are able to essentially order a tense or painful area to relax simply by thinking about it. While considered somewhat controversial, there are nonetheless countless individuals who swear by the effectiveness of this technique.
● Hypnosis – Hypnosis has been used for decades to help people come to grips with past trauma, quit smoking and more. It is also sometimes used to help people suffering from chronic pain. Sometimes the patient is given a post-hypnotic suggestion by the hypnotist. Other times, the patient is taught self-hypnosis, which they then use as a way to mitigate pain during particularly difficult periods.
● Other techniques – Other techniques sometimes used to deal with chronic pain include massage therapy, acupuncture, and TENS electrical stimulation machines.
Is That All There Is?
There are also a myriad of drug therapies available to help alleviate chronic pain. Although many of them are a very slippery slope that can lead to addiction. In which case, you will then have two major problems: chronic pain and addiction. One of the most effective chronic pain treatments to come along in recent years is called ketamine infusion therapy. It has been widely praised by both patients and health professionals for its ability to produce results even when all other treatments have failed.
Chronic Pain Treatment With Ketamine Infusions
Ketamine, a powerful anesthetic, has been used as a rapid pain reliever for decades, even dating back to the Vietnam War. New research in the last two decades shows that low-dose IV Ketamine infusions can be a powerful treatment for chronic pain. If you or a loved one is searching for relief of suffering with a chronic pain condition we invite you to give us a call today to learn more about this innovative new treatment option.