Let's Talk About Your Pain
By Donna Stark
Did you know that millions of people across the nation live with chronic pain? And that many of those people can no longer enjoy the activities they once loved to participate in? It's horrible news to hear, that's for sure, but what makes it even worse is that so many chronic pain sufferers also struggle to talk to family, friends, and doctors about what they are going through every single day. As a result, they feel completely isolated and alone and that is not OK. So, I think it's about time we all start to learn how to talk about chronic pain. Are you ready?
Talking About Pain
It can be hard to talk about your pain, especially if you suffer from a condition that is not visible to the naked eye, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, low back pain, and sciatica. I mean, how can you adequately describe the pain and its destruction when everyone you talk to says you look completely fine on the "outside"? It's difficult, but it needs to be done. So here are some suggestions on how to open up and communicate those feelings to the people closest to you.
- Get support - Those who suffer from chronic pain need a good support system and your doctor or local wellness center can probably recommend one or two groups that you could try out. Being around others who are going through similar struggles can be extremely helpful and very empowering.
- Educate your loved ones - By taking the role of an educator, you can help your friends and family understand the pain you are experiencing and how it is affecting your life. It will also shed some light on your mood swings (if you have any) and your inability to join them in certain activities.
- Join in when you can - You miss out on a lot of activities, so make it a point to join in when you are feeling up for it. Your loved ones will surely appreciate the effort but just make sure they are aware of your limitations.
- Don't hold back with your doctor - Being able to clearly describe everything about your pain will be helpful when you are talking with your doctor. Take notes at home about the intensity, location, and duration and bring them into your visits. In addition, you may also want to prepare a list of all the questions you have for your doctor so that everyone is on the same page.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you start the necessary dialogue regarding your pain! Don't be afraid to share the details with those who are closest to you you would be there for them, so let them be there for you!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Temecula, Calif.