6 Effective Strategies for Coping with Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can bring about feelings of fear, depression, or even terror depending on the severity of the pain signals. Medical literature recognizes the role that brain plays in chronic pain. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is subjective and is unique to each person. Chronic pain management can be used to help patients utilize their mind to perceive pain differently and depend on fewer painkillers.
1. Deep Muscle Relaxation
Relaxation training involves slow, deep breathing and concentration to relieve tension from muscles to relieve pain. Deep muscle relaxation is designed to help the patient focus their attention away from the pain by releasing muscle tension. It may take some time to learn the skills; however, relaxation tapes are widely available to walk you through the steps.
Biofeedback is a method used to treat chronic pain that involves being taught how to control bodily functions including muscle tension and heart rate by a professional machine. The device will indicate success when a person learns to release their muscle tension voluntarily. This method can eventually be used to treat patients how to relax their muscles on their own without the help of a machine.
3. Visual Imagery
Visual imagery can be used to help the patient shift their focus to mental pictures of events or scenes that are pleasant and relaxing. Visual imagery may also include the repetition of positive phrases or words to reduce pain. Tapes can be used to help a patient develop a particular phrase that they associate with a pleasant visual image in their head that distracts them from suffering.
4. Distraction Techniques
Distraction techniques, such as watching television, reading a book, or talking to a friend, can be used to focus a patient’s attention away from their pain.
Some chronic pain patients may seek relief from being hypnotized by a professional therapist. Therapy can also teach a patient how to hypnotize themselves at home when pain occurs.
6. Positive Affirmation
Positive affirmation includes surrounding yourself with positive thoughts or messages to reduce the severity of pain. This may include leaving notes for yourself around the house or repeating a positive phrase whenever pain arises.