Chronic Pain is pain that has lasted for over 6 months and can range from mild to severe.
It is important that you have had a medical assessment to find the cause of the pain and to also have a health plan which guides you in the best way to medically manage the pain.
It can impact on all aspects of your life, physical, emotional and social, so make sure that your Doctor has all aspects covered in your plan. (you can download an example of a health plan from here.)
Some of the causes can be physical and some are thought to be linked to mental health conditions.
Physical conditions such as arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and AIDS might all cause chronic pain.
Ulcers, poor posture, repetitive stress injuries, traumatic injuries, or nerve damage also might contribute to the development of an individual’s pain.
Chronic pain has been linked to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, as to which comes first is debatable.
So what are some options?
Counselling or Psychotherapy can be effective:-
- By allowing the person to express how they feel, be heard and not judged.
- It can help you look at options and solutions and new coping techniques
- Explore the emotional connection to the pain
- Change your focus and attention
- Look at beliefs, thoughts and reactions connected to pain
- Manage stress and worry
Hypnotherapy can help to:-
- Teach your mind new ways to turn off or dial down the pain.
- Help you to redirect the focus of the mind to more effective thoughts and beliefs
- Teach you self-hypnosis to systematically relax each part of the body and breathe into the affected area
- Help to dissociate from the pain – be separate from self and observe pain as an outsider
- Quick, effective, should be carefully managed by a medical professional
- Supplements such as Omega 3 – Fish oils may help
- Learn to focus awareness and attention and become an observer of yourself and create a distance between self and the pain.
- Learning to relax and breathe can reduce pain levels.
- Improving sleep, light exercise, losing weight, healthy eating, managing stress levels, social interaction/support, can all help to keep the body and mind in best optimal health and may reduce the symptoms of pain.
- Acupuncture, Feldenkrais, Physiotherapy, Remedial Massage might also help to alleviate pain
Please consult with your medical practitioner if you are experiencing pain for the first time or if there are changes to your normal physical or mental state.
Information adapted from the following sites:-