How to Cope With Chronic Pain

Suffering from chronic pain can take its toll on your physical and mental health. Our Pain Management Centre at Queensland Diagnostic Imaging Varsity Lakes specialises in helping you relieve, reduce and manage your pain. Coping with chronic pain is not easy, but being prepared to explore the possibilities can help. Here are some options we recommend to help you cope with chronic pain.

 

Non-Surgical Treatments

At QDI Varsity Lakes, we offer a range of minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments for chronic pain. Our treatment options include:
•  Orthokine Injections
•  CT Radio frequency Ablation
•  Facet Block Injections
•  Nerve Root Injections
•  Joint Injections
•  Steroid Injections
•  Plasma Rich Platelet Therapy (PRP)

For more detailed information about the treatments we offer, please read our article “Non-Surgical Treatments for Chronic Pain.”

 

Lifestyle Remedies

Exercise
Exercise not only helps to strengthen the muscles around the affected area, but it can boost the endorphins in your body and help you to feel better. Exercise can also help with mobility (1), but choosing the right type of exercise for your condition is important. Ask your doctor about what kind of exercise is suitable for you before you begin an exercise program.

Follow a Healthy Diet
Following a healthy diet can help your body to fight chronic pain by lowering inflammation. It also helps you with weight management and supports good digestion. Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as processed foods, fried and sugary foods and sugary drinks.

Try to include foods in your diet that can help to reduce inflammation. These include dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, some low-sugar fruits such as cherries and pineapple, turmeric and coconut oil. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial, such as oily fish, flaxseed oil and walnuts.

Manage Your Mind
We understand that it’s not always easy to redirect your focus when you’re in pain. However, focusing on your pain can often make you feel worse. We recommend finding ways to distract yourself, such as meditation or listening to music. Other things you could try include spending time with friends, enjoying nature, or joining online forums that interest you. Some people find that adult colouring or watching humorous movies are useful forms of distraction therapies.

If you feel that chronic pain is starting to control your life and affect your mental health, we recommend that you seek counselling to help you cope.

Reduce Stress
Stress aggravates chronic pain. Negative feelings such as anger, holding a grudge, anxiety and sadness heighten your body’s sensitivity to pain. Try learning deep breathing or other relaxation techniques to help you manage stress. Refocusing negative patterns of thinking can reduce your stress levels. Replace negative emotions with positive ones, and you might find that it eases your chronic pain.

Keep a Pain Journal
Tracking your pain levels and your daily activities is valuable information for your pain management team. Give your pain a score from one to ten and record what you are able to do. It will help your doctors to understand more about your pain and how to treat it.

Join a Support Group
Chronic pain can sometimes make you feel isolated, but a support group can help you to feel less alone. When you join a support group for people with your condition, others in the group understand how chronic pain affects your life. They can offer support or share what has worked for them. Family and friends may be able to offer help or advice, but others in the group understand what you are going through. Being involved in a social group can help to reduce stress (2), encourage a positive mindset, and give your endorphins a boost (3).

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol can interfere with normal sleeping patterns (4), and chronic pain can also disrupt sleep. It’s important to give your body the best chance at quality rest, so avoid alcohol or limit your intake.

Smoking can increase inflammation in your body and make some inflammatory conditions worse (5). Inflammation is the body’s healing response to injury or illness, but long-term inflammation is associated with conditions that cause chronic pain such as osteoarthritis. You can help to
lower inflammation levels in your body when you avoid smoking.

 

Surgery
At QDI, our preferred approach is minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments for chronic pain. However, in extreme cases surgery may be necessary in addition to the treatments we offer. If surgery is the best option for you, we will work with your surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome for your chronic pain condition.

Call Our Pain Management Centre:
QDI Varsity Lakes provides minimally invasive treatments for chronic pain. Call our friendly team at QDI Varsity Lakes on 07 5585 3700 to find out how our Pain Management Centre can help you, or visit us at www.qdi.com.au.

References:
(1) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963038
(2) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311
(3) time.com/3748090/friends-social-health
(4) pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-2/101-109.htm
(5) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1160597

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