Suffering from chronic or even just acute back pain can be a very challenging ordeal. Only a fellow back pain sufferer can truly understand just how debilitating and depressing the condition can be.
Your quality of life suffers when you’re in pain all the time. Most people not suffering from this condition just can’t seem to understand the devastating effects of this condition. It often seems like the patient is exaggerating or ‘weak’… when in reality, the pain can last for months or even years.
The mental and emotional toll
The first step to coping with this condition is to understand how it can impact your life. Depending on the severity of the pain, besides just medication and physiotherapy, you may also wish to speak to a counselor or a professional. The emotional and mental toll that back pain takes can leave you feeling stressed and depressed. You just might need someone to speak to.
Everything gets harder
When even a slightest jolt makes you groan in pain, you must come to terms with the fact that your mobility may be limited. You may have to walk slower, move more carefully, and tasks that were a breeze before may be of a Herculean nature now.
Carrying a bag of groceries may leave you in agony. Even simple actions like getting up from a chair or reaching for the TV remote may send spasms of pain shooting up your spine. You must be careful of everything.
When your activities are severely restricted, you may find yourself becoming more dependent on others. This may make you feel like you’re imposing and your sense of self-worth decreases. Let your close family and friends know that you may need help occasionally. My family are my back up team and can tell just by my voice if I’m having a bad day.
As difficult as it may seem, now more than ever, you need a positive attitude and the grim determination to persevere and beat the pain.
This is nothing to be ashamed of. Almost all adults fear pain. It’s just the extent that varies. You may experience fear and not just of pain but also your general wellbeing.
On the other hand, you may fear going out or engaging in other activities just in case you worsen the pain. The advice here is to use common sense. If the activity is a visit to the beach or a walk by the park, go ahead. The fresh air and change of scenery will do you good. I always say this is the hardest thing to deal with as more often than not the bell doesn’t ring until I’ve walked to far and then I have the walk back.
Fearing everything will just make you stay indoors and your life could become monotonous and sedentary. This will actually worsen the situation. Activity will improve your blood circulation and keep your muscles stronger and reduce your back pain.
Your social life may suffer because of your pain. You’d rather stay indoors than go out and have fun. It’s difficult to have fun when you’re in pain.
The pain could make the entire activity a chore. You’ll need to be open and speak to your partner about it. Do not withdraw and get angry or disappointed, instead pace your social life so you can enjoy going out.
The hard truth is that you may have to quit your job if it’s one that has a lot of manual labour. If you work at a desk, your workstation may need to be adapted to suit your condition. Working from home is another option if this is possible.
At the end of the day, just know that you’re not alone in this. It may seem like a small consolation, but the fact that there are millions of people with chronic back pain doing the best they can to lead ‘normal’ lives should inspire you to stay strong.
Keep finding ways to improve your condition and get better. Even if all it takes is a positive attitude, that itself will reduce your mental stress and make you feel better.
Blogging has helped me over the last ten years. I’ve made lots of amazing friends on here who are always around to listen if I’m having a bad day and the support groups are brilliant.