Being diagnosed with a condition that causes chronic pain can be life-changing and it can affect us all differently. There are many different conditions that can cause pain, and being able to deal with it can help us cope and manage day-to-day living. When diagnosed with any condition, we need to find ways to control and manage our conditions, rather than letting them control us. If you are suffering from any condition that is causing chronic pain, or you have just been diagnosed, read on to understand how you can manage your pain.
Conditions That Can Cause Chronic Pain
There are many conditions that cause chronic pain and the amount of pain can vary from person to person. We all have different pain thresholds and there are different types of branches in many conditions.
- Arthritis is a condition that affects the bones and joints and can be very painful, usually affecting the older generation. You can still develop arthritis a young age, however, and depending on where it is in the body will influence how easy it is to live normally.
- Fibromyalgia is a common cause of pain all over the body and this needs treatment to live life as normally as possible. You may also encounter fatigue and muscle soreness when suffering from Fibromyalgia and, therefore, pain medication is essential.
- Any kind of neuropathy (nerve damage) can cause a lot of pain and medication will be needed to stop these signals being sent to the brain.
- Chronic pain can also be a big concern if you suffer from migraines or cluster headaches, and these can be very debilitating.
Chronic pain cannot necessarily be seen, and this can make it hard as many people do not understand what you are going through. It can stop you from doing certain activities and may mean you have to cancel days out with friends or families, therefore, the better control you have over your pain, the less chance this will happen. Explaining this to those around you when you are diagnosed can help them to understand and support you better.
Treatment with Medication
Whenever you are diagnosed with an illness that causes chronic pain, healthcare professionals that are involved in your care will arrange a treatment plan for you, including what medications should be taken and when to manage this pain. You should re-visit this when the medication is no longer working as, unfortunately, the more we take pain medication, the less effective it will be. Usually, pain medication is given at the lower end and worked up as the condition worsens, to help the patient manage the pain for as long as possible.
The most important thing is to follow your treatment plan as suggested. You will see a specialist in your field and they will understand best how to treat your condition. If you have any questions regarding medication, speak to your doctor. The most commonly used pain medications are Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, which can be bought at your local drugstore. Paracetamol is used to stop pain and Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory. As pain worsens or these medications become less effective, stronger painkillers will be prescribed, which are usually only given via prescription and collected at a pharmacy.
Sometimes, gels can be used for conditions such as arthritis, which target the pain in the affected area or joint. For children, giving medication can prove a lot harder and usually, oral liquid forms are available, which taste a lot nicer than tablets, meaning they are more likely to take it. If you are giving medication to a baby, you may be able to mix it in with their bottle but speak to your pediatrician about this.
Some people are not keen on taking lots of regular medication. Prolonged use can have some side effects, as the body must break down and metabolize the medication. They may also feel that the medication is not enough to relieve pain on its own and they may look for home remedies. This does not always mean alternatives to medication.
Light to moderate exercise can relieve some pain symptoms especially in conditions such as Fibromyalgia. If you do want an alternative to pain medication there are natural forms of pain relief out there such as CBD oil. This oil is taken from the marijuana plant and many people have controversial views on this. Understanding what is it and what it does may make you more willing to try it. CBD is one of the compounds found in the plant; THC is another. Unlike THC, CBD does not affect your state of mind, meaning it does not get you “high”, therefore, it is not the same as smoking marijuana. Many people are given medical marijuana and CBD oil is legal in many states. There are many uses and benefits of this oil, but find out more info about it and the different forms in which you can take it, including tablets or as oil.
Fish-oil is a great natural remedy for chronic pain and is known as an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation can cause a great deal of pain and can be the source of pain in many conditions, therefore, removing this inflammation can stop the pain. This does not happen after one tablet, but by taking fish oil supplements every day, you may begin to notice a difference.
Heat is a great way to deal with chronic pain and can ease the symptoms. Any joint or bone pain can be relieved by a hot bath, and this can also distract you from the pain as you begin to relax. Distracting your mind is always a great way to relieve the symptoms and in children, play can be especially effective.
Chronic pain can be hard to live with, and as it is an invisible part of the illness, many do not truly understand. If you want to talk to someone about your pain, there are many online forums and support groups for all conditions.