Guide to Chronic Pain and Management - Chronic Pain Coping Techniques
Chronic Pain Coping Techniques
While doctors can help you with therapies such as prescribing medicine or helping you set up an exercise regimen, it is often largely up to you to find the best ways to cope with your chronic pain. In doing so, it is helpful to remember that pain management is not just physical, but mental and emotional as well. The emotional highs and lows of dealing with chronic pain can be stressful and even terrifying.
Because the sensation of pain is heavily influenced by the way in which the brain interprets pain signals, there are several ways that you can instruct your brain to help cope with the pain. For example:
Give Your Body a Break Using your mental energy for relaxation involves concentration, certain breathing techniques, and releasing the tension from muscles to help you deal with your pain. This takes time and practice, but relaxation can help you turn your focus away from your pain and give your body rest.
Produce Anesthesia with Your Brain This technique involves imagining an injection of a numbing anesthetic (like a dentist would use before a filling) into the painful area of your body. Imagining a soothing cold back placed on the painful area can also help.
Go to Your Happy Place This involves focusing all your mental powers on a place you find very pleasant and comforting – your favorite vacation spot, a favorite memory of being with family or friends – any place where you feel absolutely safe, relaxed and stress free – to ease your pain.
Exercise Your Power over Your Pain Put your pain in its place, literally, by using your mind to move the painful area around your body to a place where you find it is easier to cope with. For example, use your mind to move your chronic low back pain slowly into your hand. Once you have mastered this technique, you can also move the pain from your hand out into the air and softly blow it away.
Taking the necessary steps to treat and control the pain can help you live a fuller life despite your chronic pain. This is the essential goal of a pain management program, and conducting research – such as reading this article – is the right type of effort needed to figure out what will work best for you.
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