I was recently featured in a Practical Pain Management interview. Check it out.
If you have ever traveled to Yellowstone National Park, you may have seen signs asking you to not feed the bears. Feeding the bears only makes them more familiar to humans and human food - making the bears even more unpredictable and dangerous.
Just as feeding bears can create problems, feeding our fear of pain can make the pain more unpredictable and dangerous.
Chronic pain doesn’t mean more damage or harm
We know what to expect from chronic pain by the very nature of it being chronic or ongoing. It’s not like getting burnt, twisting an ankle, or getting stung by a bee that needs protection until the injury has heals. Chronic pain doesn’t specify immediate danger or harm.
Moderate activities won’t make pain worse
Exercise helps reduce pain, improves balance, improves conditioning, helps with weight control, improves sleep, increases flexibility, and releases endorphins to help make you feel better.
Learn more coping tools. Download your free copy of Chronic Pain Won't Stop Me.
We all experience pain.
The choice we have as humans is how we respond to the pain. We can either choose to wallow in the pain or we can choose to live life, despite the pain.
For many people with chronic pain, a vicious circle can form between pain and suffering.
Research has shown the psychological and social distress associated with pain is often more important to the pain experience as the perceived pain severity.
Think about it. We don’t go to the doctor just because we have a certain level of pain intensity on a numbered pain scale. We go because the pain is affecting our quality of life.
As a chronic pain patient, who/what can you best rely on to help with your chronic pain?
C. Drugs and supplements
D. Family and friends
Correct answer: Yourself. There most often isn't a cure for chronic pain. We must accept responsibility to self-manage our chronic pain and make the most of our lives, despite the pain.
Take the entire quiz here.
An excerpt from a great article written by Donald Richard -
Classic Essay: Fly Fishing, Mindfulness, and the Art of Letting Go
"While it’s completely normal for us to get hooked on various thoughts and feelings, the process can be exhausting. The practice of catching and releasing our thoughts is not easy. Releasing them requires the same amount of skill, practice, and patience that we use to properly release a fish."
Read the entire article here.
Let's face it, change isn't easy. Nor is chronic persistent pain.
If we keep doing what we we've done in the past to manage our pain but still hurt, why not try something different? Especially something is that is risk-free with zero side effects.
Change how we think about pain.
Pain is an experience affected by our minds and our bodies as well as the world around us. So why treat it with only medical solutions As Dr. Rachel Zoffness said it so well in a recent article, if we treat pain as only biomedical, we’re missing two-thirds of the pain problem.
Learn more in my free e-book Chronic Pain Pain Won't Stop Me.
Our minds are powerful. They can do great good or do great harm.
When in chronic persistent pain, it can become easy for negative thoughts to pop into our minds and affect how we feel and behave in reaction to the pain.
Creating a cycle of pain.
1. Identify negative thoughts. Negative thoughts play off our emotions and can often re-occur for no real reason. They work against us instead of for us.
2. Challenge negative thoughts. Ask yourself: Are the thoughts you’re having realistic. Are they factual? Do they help or hurt you? Are you catastrophizing or jumping to conclusions? Be kind and non-judgmental. You aren’t a bad person for thinking them.
3. Replace negative thoughts. Replace these thoughts with positive and more realistic thoughts like, I can do this; the pain is what it is; I’m many things – pain doesn’t define me, and this won’t last forever.
The better we understand chronic pain and the more we know about it, the better equipped we are to manage it.
Take the pain quiz.
How Heavy is this Glass of Water?
Chronic Pain Champions is an information resource/blog/support group to help chronic pain patients, their families, and friends, as well as healthcare professionals.