What to Do When You’re Diagnosed with a Chronic Pain Condition

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Guest-post, written by: Jackie Waters

When you receive a diagnosis of a chronic pain condition, it merely confirms what you already know. For months or even years, you’ve suffered from aching muscles or joints. You may experience widespread pain throughout your body, unable to do all the things you used to do. Your pain interferes with work, family life, and recreation. When a doctor finally diagnoses you with a chronic pain condition, you may experience feelings of both sadness and relief. Finally, a doctor acknowledges that this pain and fatigue isn’t a figment of your imagination, but now you have to face the fact that the pain won’t go away on its own. If you’ve recently discovered that you have a chronic pain condition, read on for tips on how to improve your health.

Overcoming the Shock of Your Diagnosis

In the beginning stages, you may go through various emotions. Denial, anger, depression, and anxiety are common feelings when you are diagnosed with a chronic condition. This is because you worry about how your life will change and how you’ll survive those changes. You worry how your chronic pain condition will affect your family. But it’s important to move toward acceptance of your condition, realizing that it’s not going to go away on its own. You learn to adjust your life and routine in order to live with the condition. That doesn’t mean you give up and resign yourself to a life of pain and fatigue. It just means that you accept the new normal even as you find ways to improve your health.

Safely Managing Your Symptoms

The most common chronic pain treatments include the use of medication, surgery, and nerve blocks. More natural forms of treatment are available as well. According to NIH MedlinePlus magazine, acupuncture, massage therapy, and meditation are just a few methods that may effectively treat chronic pain. Some sufferers even receive relief from psychotherapy and behavior modification.

Oddly enough, one of the best ways to naturally treat chronic pain is to get moving. Regular exercise helps to relieve chronic pain. And we’re not talking about strenuous bootcamp workouts or running on the treadmill until you drop from exhaustion. Instead, try walking, riding on an exercise bike, yoga, Pilates, or other gentle workouts that won’t punish your body. 

Physicians are more reluctant to prescribe prescription painkillers to their patients since the use of opioids can lead to addiction. ScienceDaily reports that some kinds of pain don’t respond well to painkillers. And there’s always the risk of patients dying from an accidental overdose.  

Creating a Peaceful Environment

Living in a cluttered home can interfere with your ability to treat chronic pain. When your house is full of unnecessary items, it’s difficult to relax. Clutter causes you to feel anxious. It interferes with concentration and makes you feel guilty about your lack of organization. Take time to organize your rooms, cabinets, and closets by tossing things in the trash, donating items to charity, or having a yard or garage sale. You can also sell unwanted items online.

Once you get rid of your unwanted items, choose designated spaces to keep the items you decide to keep. And make sure you put things back after using them. This prevents your home from getting messy and chaotic. Also, after you’ve decluttered and organized, you might want to bring in a team of professionals to give you space a good deep cleaning. After all, it may have been a while since some of those surfaces have seen the light of day. Fortunately, hiring pros won’t cost you a lot of money; in Minneapolis, maid services typically cost between $118 and $217, though this number will vary depending on the size of your home.

Finally, find an area of your home for your meditation space. Play soft, soothing music or burn fragrant candles. These stress-relieving strategies just might help you manage your chronic pain. Simple.com breaks down how much this could cost, ranging from a few hundred dollars to about a thousand, but you don’t have to go overboard to create a relaxing space.

Learning that you have a chronic pain condition can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Discuss possible treatments with your doctor. Incorporate gentle exercise into your life. Declutter your home to alleviate some of the stress in your environment. By making these lifestyle changes and finding the appropriate pain therapy for your specific needs, you will find ways to manage your chronic pain while still leading an active life.


Photo via Pixabay

Jackie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her mid-20s. After, she began making the lifestyle changes needed in order to minimize the number of medications she would need to take. As a self-described “neat freak”, she knows that your environment plays a huge role in keeping pain and inflammation under control. So, she’s made changes to her home, diet and lifestyle, to minimize her joint pain, as much as possible.