The Hidden Dangers Of Managing Chronic Pain
If you’re living with chronic pain, then you may not need any convincing that it can affect your life in many ways. However, if you’re just starting to experience it or have recently been diagnosed, then knowing some of the “battles” that you might have to fight can help you better position yourself to prevent or overcome them. As such, here are some of the hidden dangers that many aren’t aware of until they’re stuck in them.
Sleep is one of the first fights
Your sleep quality can start to take a dip in quality and quantity very quickly once chronic pain starts to affect you. Aside from having trouble getting comfortable at night, a lot of people experience waking up more often as a result of pain. This sleeplessness can impact our mental health, but it can also make us more sensitive to our own pain, making the main symptom worse, itself. As such, taking steps to treat sleep deprivation, such as investing in a specialty mattress, might become essential. You may also want to talk to your doctor about sleep aids.
The emotional and mental toll
Being in pain, frequently, is a stressful experience. As mentioned, other troubles such as sleeplessness can only increase this stress, leading to a higher probability of anxiety, depression, and other issues. Stress and anxiety are both known to increase chronic pain, as well, by tensing the muscles around our back and joints. Options like massage therapy can help to both treat the physical symptoms and side-effects of stress, while working as a stress relief tool, too.
The risk of substance abuse
A topic that is becoming much more prevalent, as of late, is that of substance abuse amongst those who misuse prescription medications. The opioids often used to treat chronic pain can be highly addictive. In many cases, people find they become less effective over time, so they use them more often or opt for more powerful solutions, but this can lead to addiction, with treatments like inpatient drug rehab becoming essential. As such, looking for pain management strategies that don’t involve medications may be worth looking into.
The effect on our activity levels
While perhaps not as immediately dangerous as addiction or severe sleeplessness, the knock-on effects of increasing levels of physical inactivity can be a serious danger to our long-term health. It becomes harder and sometimes more dangerous to exercise with chronic pain, especially if we have to take care of our joints. However, you can still create a successful exercise routine, especially by relying on low-impact exercises. Talk to your doctor about the exercises that could help you or even to a physiotherapist to have an exercise routine built to match your level of safe mobility
Pain affects how we live our lives, including our mental and physical health. As such, the steps we take to address it, as well as the treatments and their side effects, must be made proactive before those hills become much steeper and more difficult to climb up.