Long term pain from a chronic illness needs to be managed effectively by:
Keeping your GP informed about changes in your health and having regular check-ups – Your GP is your first place to find out more information about traditional ways to manage your pain including the medication available which may suit you;
Social support from family and friends or even a support group will prevent you from becoming lonely and disengaged from others. Talking to someone else about your pain will make your pain seem as less of a burden and more of a condition that you can live with;
If you feel that your pain is overwhelming, contact your GP for referrals to other people that may assist with managing the pain of your condition, these Specialists could include a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Medical Specialist or a pain management clinic;
Positive lifestyle factors which could assist with your pain management could include a healthy diet, regular exercise, better management of stress and good sleep.
This is a very difficult situation and sometimes the only thing we can control is our thoughts. If you would like to try some alternative ways of managing your long-term pain, download the BeatPain App today.
To support someone living with chronic pain is difficult. If you know them well then you will know the best way to support them. Each person is different and the level of support they will need depends on their personality, the seriousness of their condition, their tolerance to pain, and their need to discuss their pain.
If you are supporting someone with pain, remember the following:
The patient with pain is a person and the pain prevents them from doing the things that they normally do.
Ask the person with pain to assess the severity of pain with a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. This person may get sick of you asking them the question, but it will help you to understand what they need support with and if they require assistance with daily activities.
Learn to recognise that the person is in chronic pain – watch for gritting teeth, clenching hands, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, decreased activity or even suicidal thoughts.
Listen to the person in pain, listen to what they are saying and what they are not saying. Do they need your assistance to do something?
Understand and respect the person’s physical limitations – the person may be able to stand for 10 minutes on one day but may not be able to do it on the following day. Each day is different and the pain level may differ on different days. Pain is never consistent.