No matter how strong you are mentally and physically, living with chronic pain is hard to handle. Eventually, the effects of it can seep into every area of your life, including your relationships. Let’s learn what to do when chronic pain becomes unbearable.
You can learn techniques to help you manage the pain. Distraction, breathing through flare-ups, and pain meds are temporary relievers.
If the pain becomes unbearable, though, you need something more than palliative relief. You need something like these tips that help you improve your quality of life as you deal with chronic pain.
1. Make Movement Part of Your Day
When you’re in pain, the last thing you want to do is exercise. But extensive studies show that people who engage in light activity every day have less pain.
‘Light activity’ means you can do anything that gets you up and moving for half an hour or so. Taking a walk, participating in a yoga session, or hitting the treadmill at a low incline and slow speed are all good ways to get movement into your daily schedule.
If you have a day or two where the pain is so intense you can’t get out of bed, it’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just get back up and going when you feel better, and get back into the routine of regular activity.
2. Use CBD Regularly
CBD products are increasingly becoming the go-to for people with chronic pain. Cannabinoids have properties in them that get into your body on a cellular level, relieving and fixing imbalances in your systems.
Pain stems from the nervous system. This part of your body tells you when something is hot or cold and painful or gentle. When the nervous system gets damaged, it doesn’t work as it’s intended to, and you feel pain from the nerve damage.
Topical CBD products enter your body through the skin, which is your body’s largest organ. Cannabinoids then interact with the nerves and cells in your nervous system and soothe them.
CBD may not fix the problems you have, but it can definitely make you feel better. Among some of the many benefits of CBD is its anti-inflammatory property. This reduces the swelling that pushes on your nerves and increases the pain.
Creams and lotions with CBD as the active ingredient can be used before your problems flare up as a preventative measure. Or, they can be applied after you’re already hurting as a way to relieve the unbearable pain.
3. Quit Bad Habits
Chronic pain can put you in a catch-22 situation. You’re tempted to try bad habits to erase the problems you have for a little while. But in the long run, they’re only making it worse.
Alcohol is a common ‘treatment’ people in severe pain turn to. It helps you to fall asleep through the discomfort that makes it hard to rest. However, alcohol also increases sleep problems, keeping you from being able to get into a deep REM cycle where your body needs to be to heal.
Smoking is another bad habit you might consider if you’re in major pain. The drawback is that cigarettes send nicotine into your bloodstream and slow circulation. This actually increases the pain you’ll feel, plus you now have the probability of developing heart disease and cancer, too.
When you quit those bad habits, you’ll deal with a short withdrawal period. If you can force yourself to go through the symptoms as your body eliminates those toxins, you’ll feel much better on the other side.
4. Build Your Support System
One of the first things we do when we’re hurting is to push those who care about us away. It’s human nature. Some people do this because they don’t want to seem weak. Others don’t want to ‘bother’ anyone or complain.
But doing this will make your pain and problems worse. You need a support system to improve your quality of life, both mentally and physically.
A healthy support system includes your medical doctor and a mental health counselor. If you have close friends or family you trust, they’re part of your inner circle, too. Your church group, co-workers who care, and anyone else you can turn to if you need help is in your network. Don’t push them away or alienate yourself.
The wider your support system is, the less likely you are to ‘bother’ a specific person. The key to keeping them happily involved in your life, though, is to engage with them when you’re having good days. That way, they want to be there for you on your bad ones. Their emotional support and presence are a distraction from your pain and a reminder that you have a great life.
People in chronic pain usually go one of two ways. They expect too much from and are too hard on themselves, which hurts them physically and mentally. Or, they give up and decide that they can’t do anything, withdrawing from life completely. This, too, hurts them both ways.
You don’t have to choose one of those paths. When the pain gets too unbearable, try these tips to push through and enjoy life again.