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Dealing with pain

Dealing with pain

At one point or another in life, everyone deals with pain. If you are lucky, the pain subsides in a few days. If not, and the pain becomes chronic, it can affect you mentally and physically.

There are millions of people who deal with chronic pain, so you are certainly not alone. Here are some tips that might help if pain is your constant companion:

  • Don't go it alone. When you have to make important decisions when you are feeling miserable, make sure you bring in a trusted ally. Another perspective always helps when you aren't thinking clearly because of the pain.
  • Be willing to accept and ask for help. You will want to feel better as quickly as possible. If getting help helps that along, accept it.
  • Don't be a martyr. People like to help others, so reach out.
  • Try to sleep. It may be hard to get comfortable, but try to rest. So much healing goes on when the body is taking a break.
  • Avoid stress if you can. Bad events are magnified when you are in pain, so try to minimize negativity in your life.
  • Consider alternative healing methods.* Many people find relief through acupuncture, joint manipulation, meditation, etc. Keep an open mind - you just might find something that works.
  • Eat and drink right. Your body needs healthy foods and so does your mind. Make sure you drink plenty of non-caffeinated liquids because pain can be caused by simple dehydration.
  • Evaluate how you sit at work and home. Are these environments ergonomically correct? Sitting all day can cause discomfort, so make sure you get up and move around frequently.
  • Think about your pain – take note of anything that brings relief. Know what makes you hurt and what helps. A warm bath, a walk in the sun – focus on cause and relief and share that with your doctor.
  • Consult your doctor. Some pain is common, like low back aches after working in the yard, but some pain can indicate illness. Do not hesitate to see a doctor if something unusual seems to be going on.
  • Step on the scale. Extra pounds put a lot of stress on the body. Try to make lifestyle changes where you can. Try not to give into your pain, and move around as much as possible.

 *Program note: Complementary Ways to Deal with Pain will be presented on Aug. 7.

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