Living with Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain Impacts Quality of Life. Tips to Get Better!
How pain disrupts quality of life
Pain disrupts many aspects of life such as sleep disturbances, reduced social activity, depression, and poor physical functioning. For the elderly, coping with pain can already be difficult and effecting their activities of daily living (ADLs). These problems can disrupt the coping process, increase the cost of care, and further lead to depression or isolation.
How pain disrupts sleep
When you’re in pain there are many factors that prevent you from getting a good night of sleep. If you have a stressful day, due to your heighten symptoms from pain, you might experience frequent awakenings. In this situation, even turning while in bed can cause pain. Due to lack of sleep, your body is not able to recover and handle pain the following day. You have entered a vicious cycle of bad quality sleep, lower pain threshold, and the capability to cope with the chronic pain.
How pain causes depression and stress
When you have to cope with pain, your inability to do so may lead to depression. This can then disrupt your cognitive function, creates a lack of concern regarding eating a nutritious healthy meal, which can result in malnutrition and low energy levels. The pain can prevent you from carrying out your ADLs and
require you to rely on others for help. The idea of asking or depending on someone else for help can lead to distress.
As we age, the physiology of our bodies change and coexisting health condition often lead to difficulty in finding medications that will be beneficial for recovery.
Medication compliance can be extremely challenging. Many believe medication is only an option when experiencing pain. They assume taking analgesics, as a preventative measure, can cause a drug addiction. People who are in pain are frequently tired of dealing with the side effects of the drugs. They therefore refuse to take the medication all together. Individuals are unaware that lifestyle or dietary changes can help manage the side effects. This will prevent them from taking any additional medications to treat the side effects.
Treatment options for pain management
Exercise, acupuncture, guided imagery, relaxation, music therapy, biofeedback, spiritual interventions, hot and cold therapy are non-pharmacological options to deal with your chronic pain. The pain and stress shouldn’t be a part of your aging process!