September is Pain Awareness Month; a time to understand and take action to help those who experience chronic pain. Unfortunately pain is all too often more common as we age. The ACPA offers this resourceful brochure for dealing with pain as you age.
Types of Pain
Not everyone experiences the same types of pain. The American Chronic Pain Association places pain into three categories:
- Acute Pain – occurs for a short time; often caused by an injury. Acute pain eventually goes away and is quite treatable.
- Cancer Pain – cancer can cause a variety of pains; from the cancer source itself to the treatment and operations that may occur to become cancer free. Cancer pain can often become chronic pain from treatments that have left parts of the body unstable and painful (radiation & chemo).
- Chronic Pain – constant and relentless, with very little to no end. Most people dealing with chronic pain have debilitating symptoms that affect their quality of life greatly; often treated with prescribed pain medication.
Living With Chronic Pain
When a person lives with chronic pain it’s obvious that they will be forced to adjust their lifestyle and daily routine. In many cases those with chronic pain will become disabled and even homebound.
Here are 5 Ways to Deal With Chronic Pain
Most people will be prescribed pain relievers; the type of medication and strength will depend upon the particular pain and symptoms.
- Meditation – Meditation has proven to be an excellent natural way to relieve chronic pain. You can find a number of resources in the Baltimore area (or your hometown) and online; many are free programs or online podcasts such as these Happiness Podcasts by Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D.
- Weight Management – You hurt too much to really exercise, causing a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain; excess weight can actually increase your pain levels. Losing as little as 10% of your body weight can reduce your pain levels.
- Life Choices – You have to decide what is and what isn’t worth increasing your pain levels. Would you rather have a spotless house with increased pain but unable to go out socially or would you prefer to spend time with family and friends socializing and accept some pain and fatigue while leaving chores for someone else?
- Accepting Help – The help of an in-home care service can allow you to regain quality of life. While your professional caregiver helps with everyday chores such as light housekeeping, laundry, and even cooking meals you can be relaxing and allowing your body regenerate for activities you enjoy.
- Exercise – The type of pain you have will determine what types of exercise will be best; those who have joint pain, back & neck pain, and general pain that worsens with load bearing movements benefit from aquatic exercising; others may have the ability to walking or ride a bike. Start slow & consult your physician.
No matter what age, if you’re suffering from chronic pain you deserve to continue a life that you enjoy. We’re here to help make that happen.
Photo by jpalinsad360