Pain originally has a helpful function. It namely warms us that something is not right. This principle was made by nature in order to protect us. However, pain can also be present during a longer period of time, which can have severe consequences. Not only does it worsen your mood, but your health also becomes poorer. Here we speak of chronic pain. Because the chronic pain affects our functioning on such an intensive level for a long time, it even affects our quality of life.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain can express itself in any part of the body. For example, headache, back ache, neck ache and so on can become chronic. Chronic pain is also different from normal pain, which has a natural, protective function. If you suffer from chronic pain, the pain system is overly sensitive, causing us to feel pain during an extended period of time. The pain system then senses more pain than there actually is motoric damage. The pains signal is then sent, even though there is no cause for them under normal circumstances.
If you suffer from chronic pain, chances also are large that your brain is more sensitive to pain. Research has shown that people with chronic pain have a more active and larger pain center in the brain.
Body and mind together?
Body and mind are linked, meaning they constantly influence one another. Psychological problems can make us physically more vulnerable, and vice versa. Chronic pain has a large influence on your life. Chances are that your mood and your health, too, can suffer a lot from the chronic pain.
On top of this, it is not always easy to know what causes the chronic pain. Then you are recommended to work on your pain by using pain killers, which of course can have a large effect on your quality of life. You are not always helped by taking pain killers, either.
All of the above can have a large influence on our psychological functioning. Oftentimes, chronic pain combines with types of depression. It is therefore useful to keep an eye on you psychological factors, in addition to the chronic pain.
Learning to deal with chronic pain?
Because there is no generally known treatment for chronic pain, many patients are given advice as to how to better handle the pain. Every expression of chronic pain of course is different, meaning that some tips work better for some people than for others. Still, we have formulated several tips below, which you can personally apply in order to make the pain less disturbing.
Chronic pain does not damage you!
It is useful to know that chronic pain is not, like normal pain is, an indication that damage has occurred somewhere. You will thus not do any damage by making certain movements which cause the chronic pain. This can help you with letting go of the anxiety related to the movement. Moving also heats up your muscles, which possibly can reduce the pain.
Distraction is useful!
WHen you have distraction, your attention is much less focused on the chronic pain, which can help you in dealing with the pain. Because, in many cases, there is no treatment for chronic pain, many people are recommended to learn to deal with it in a better way, so that the chronic pain does not have as large of an influence. Relaxation and distraction can help with this.
It is also useful to make sure psychological factors are not at play. For example, stress can cause tension, which eventually can lead to more pain.
Count out anxiety and depression!
As mentioned earlier, chances are that the chronic pain affects your life quality and mood. That is why it is useful to keep an eye on anxiety and depression. Furthermore, these problems can worsen your focus on your chronic pain. Treating psychological factors thus can help you with dealing with the chronic pain.
“15Minutes4Me.com” offers an online therapy, which helps you on a daily basis with working on stress, depression, and anxiety. This way you can follow-up yourself on a daily basis and rule out psychological causes.
Furthermore, the program helps you to recognize what you can do to reduce pain. It helps you to increase your pain threshold, recognize warning signals of pain, and work on relapse prevention. This can help you to reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of pain and to strengthen your body and mind against pain!
Keep doing what you like to do despite the pain!
Do not let pain rule your life. As far as possible, you can still do what you like to do. This can also create a distraction and increase your quality of life. Make sure to listen to your body enough, so you do not exhaust it too much. It is useful to find a balance, and to in this way reduce chronic pain.
The pain test!
Would you like to know how you can take better care of yourself and to what extent psychological factors have an influence on your chronic pain? Then take the online stress induced pain test for free!