For anyone who struggles with chronic pain you will know that it is one of the most difficult things to manage. It is hard to understand just how exhausting and draining it is to deal with chronic pain, to help out anyone who suffers with it we’ve made a quick guide based on doctors recommendations on how best to manage chronic pain.

What is chronic pain?

To understand what chronic pain is, you must first understand what pain is. Pain is caused by the body’s central nervous system which is made up of the brain and the nerves in the spinal cord. The nerves and the brain are constantly sending messages between each other so they can communicate what is going on in your body. The brain is seen as the control center of the operations and the nerves send messages to it which the brain then deciphers and decided on how to react. If there is an alarming message the brain will notice this and when it deciphers the message it will cause pain. In most cases the pain signals will ease quickly, but sometimes they persist.

When they persist for longer than 12 weeks, after you’ve been prescribed medication or been on a course of treatment, this is known as chronic pain. Chronic pain is more common than people think, with 1 in 5 people suffering from chronic pain at some point in their lifetime. There isn’t always a medical explanation as to why some people’s pain becomes chronic rather than going away but there are plenty of ways to try and deal with it.

Is meditation effective?

There are various types of mediation, ranging from mindfulness to focusing on your thoughts, meditation originates from a variety of religions and over recent years has become much more prominent in western culture. Meditation is thought to be soothing and a good stress relief, it is a repetitive process that allows you to ignore your surroundings and focus on your thoughts or breathing to help you relax. If you’re struggling to get used to meditation yourself then there are plenty of classes or online courses that you can take to help you get into that state of relaxation. The most common way to meditate is to find a quiet and relaxing environment and to breathe very deeply. There are many studies that show that once you’re in this state of relaxation, it can help to ease your chronic pain, by doing this several times a week you will likely feel a massive difference in how much pain you’re struggling with.

How does my lifestyle affect chronic pain?

Chronic pain and lifestyle, although on the surface seem like there is no relation between them, actually go hand in hand. It is widely known that if you’re struggling with any negative mental emotions or have any mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, this can actually worsen how much pain you’re having to deal with. Often, by dealing with events in your life that are causing you stress you can lessen how depressed you’re feeling which will in turn reduce the amount of pain you’re having to manage. There are many proven methods to help reduce stress but you’ll have to find the best method that works for you, some of the most popular stress relivers include listening to soothing music, listening to audio books or guided imagery.

Is there anything I can take to help manage the pain?

If you’re suffering from chronic pain it is likely that you’ve tried every pain killer under the sun, from ibuprofen to aspirin to co-codamol. Whilst it is not prescribed a great tip is using CBD gummies for pain relief. Some people avoid using CBD as they don’t know what it is, CBD is one of the active ingredients in cannabis, but it is not the ingredient that has psychoactive affects, this is THC. There have been plenty of studies on the effectiveness of CBD in helping deal with pain and over 60% of these studies have has positive results. CBD helps to block some of the messages that the nervous system is sending to the brain so the brain doesn’t send out any alarming signals, which blocks the pain that you’re feeling. There are plenty of websites online to buy CBD gummies, of if you prefer you can get CBD in vape form or as an oil.

Does exercise help?

Many people hate taking part in exercise and find it really difficult to maintain a regular exercise regimen. However, exercise seems to help with most things in life and chronic pain is included in this. Exercise is so good for your body that when you exercise your body releases endorphins, these are a chemical that are released in your brain and not only do they increase your mood but have been shown to block pain signals. Depending on what condition is causing your chronic pain you may need to be cautious about what exercise you participate in, if you’re unsure then your doctor will be able to help you work out a plan. It’s important to find an exercise that you enjoy as this will make it seem less like work or a chore and you’re more likely to stick to it and feel the long-term benefits.

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

One of the side effects of chronic pain is struggling to sleep, if you consume alcohol then this can also have a negative impact on your sleeping schedule so you’ll want to avoid alcohol to prevent making sleeping issues any worse. Smoking is another thing to avoid as this causes issues with your circulation which can also make your chronic pain worse. Another great thing to consider is finding a local support group, most people won’t understand the pain that you’re going through so it will be a relief to speak to people who can understand and provide you with tips from their own experiences.