How do you cope with chronic pain? I think everyone in chronic pain has there own way of managing it but help from your GP and hospital pain services can lessen the pain, improve your independence and help you cope in general.
Often, chronic pain is an illness in its own right, due to a fault or malfunction in the body’s pain system.
My first episode of real pain was in my late 20’s when I just simply slipped while cleaning the bath. and my back went out. An easy thing to do and a common enough occurrence for people with back problems. I was treated at first with pain killers then physiotherapy but ended up needing to see an Orthopaedic consultant.
At that time I was quite bent with the pain, looking 20 years older than my age. Pain at the end of the day is introspective; it doesn’t give a dam about the rest of the world. Fortunately after my stunt in hospital on traction for a week it seemed to cure the disc problem for the short term. However I was left with another problem which was that part of my left calf was completely numb, which they said was from the traction.
That was over 30 years ago, and I must admit that when I look back I am amazed at how I managed to cope with the pain I was in and also look after a young child. I guess we all go through some form of pain at some point in our lives so nature must play a big part in the coping mechanism.
‘Thinking happy thoughts’ and ‘Being positive’ is part of cognitive therapy which is supposed to help our brains turn on the endorphins to help us cope with pain. However back in the 70’s none of this was available to us which does make you wonder sometimes about how we managed to deal with it.
Pain management programmes are a series of sessions, for groups of 6-8 people, aimed at teaching you how to live with your pain. Instead of treating your pain, you learn to cope with it and, research shows, can expect to enjoy a better quality of life, sleep and mobility afterwards. There are also around 300 pain clinics available in the UK.
But, at the end of the day its up to each individual who is suffering from chronic pain to manage it the best they can.