Those who suffer from chronic pain should consult with their health care professionals to construct a pain management plan. This plan is your design to manage and cope with the pain you experience on a day-to-day basis and will involve several areas.
These areas will consist of: pain relieving medications, relaxation or meditation therapies, distraction, and massage therapy (cold and heat).
Your pain management plan is your call to take positive action when pain strikes so that you can experience relief and continue on with your activities for the day.
Pain medications should be taken on a regular schedule instead of only when you experience pain. This allows for the most benefit to be received and for you to experience the most pain relief possible from these medications.
Medication therapy may be c combination or just one kind and may include: acetaminophen, NSAIDs, steroids, narcotics, DMARDs or biologics. Each type has its won set of benefits and risks that must be measured against your desired quality of life.
Relaxation and meditation therapies:
Learning ways to relax your muscles and mind can also help to relieve pain. There are many ways to help you relax. Music is one way that many find induces them to relax. Deep breathing is another successful method to allow you to relax.
Meditation is a skill that has to be learned but can be of great benefit to the person who suffers from chronic pain.
When we focus on our pain we become more acutely aware of it. Having the ability to distract our thoughts from our pain can be very helpful. It is how some parents help their kids deal with the pain of receiving vaccinations. They distract hem with an object or with talking to them.
Distraction does help. Keeping your mind occupied on other issues like work, volunteer tasks or reading can work wonders in pain management.
Massage and cold/heat therapies:
When experiencing mild symptoms it can be helpful to use massage therapy, or cold/heat treatments to relieve pain. These therapies are quick and easy and can be done self-applied or done by a professional. Many physical therapists make use of massage and heat/cold therapies for their patients.
Your pain management plan should include all of the above elements. Your plan is individualized to fit your particular needs and lifestyle.
Your pain management plan should involve understanding how you normally handle pain including how anger, anxiety, depression, despair, or frustration figure into your pain management.
Do these emotions contribute to your pain management or do they hinder your ability to manage pain? Learning how to take positive charge of your emotions and your response to pain can help you to feel better. There are strategies for dealing with the emotions of pain that you can add to your pain management plan.
These strategies include:
1. A nutritious diet
2. Cognitive-behavioral training
3. Joining a support group
4. Exercising on a regular basis
5. Receiving support from a mental health provider
Make sure you go over your pain management plan with all of your health care professionals as each of them may have items to include in your plan that may benefit you. You should periodically go over your plan to see if there are any changes that are necessary to make that relate to any changes in your pain level.