When pain becomes a constant feature in every waking hour, your quality of life can decline rapidly. It is important to understand that pain has ripple effects that extend far beyond the immediacy of the discomfort that it causes you. Having to contend with chronic pain carries numerous drawbacks, and it could put both your mental and physical health at risk. Here are some key things that you should understand about how chronic pain can affect you.
Persistent pain takes a toll on your mental health, and sometimes the events that have led to a painful injury or health condition can be traumatic. Using pain medications to cope with mental health problems and trauma may make you susceptible to forming an unhealthy dependency.
Using painkillers to self-medicate conditions such as depression or PTSD poses serious health risks. Being aware of the contributing factors of substance abuse and their relationship to your condition may help you stay conscientious about your individual risk factors. If you are worried about becoming increasingly dependent on medications to treat pain, don’t hesitate to address your concerns with your physician or a substance abuse counselor.
Dealing with pain that you can’t really get any substantive relief from you is downright exhausting. In part, this is because coping with pain drains your energy reserves. It causes stress and degrades your endurance. Also, your body may have to work harder to get through basic tasks while you’re in the throes of intense discomfort. On your worst days, you may simply not feel like you’re up for doing anything. Resultantly, you may feel lackluster from the moment you get out of bed until you’re ready to go back to bed.
To overcome fatigue associated with an orthopedic disorder or another health condition that causes considerable pain, do your best to engage in physical activity on a regular basis. Staying active can keep your energy levels up, and maintaining mobility could prevent your condition from progressing further. Get assistance from a physical therapist to work on building the muscles around areas where you have acute inflammation so you can move with less pain. Guidance from an experienced therapist will make you feel more confident about being active without worsening your symptoms.
Despite feeling more tired than you did before pain became such a dominating fixture in your life, you might have increased difficulty getting the rest that you need. Physical pain makes it harder for you to relax. Even just getting into a comfortable position might be extremely challenging.
Try meditation for sleep to give yourself a little extra help winding down. Meditative practices might help you take your mind off your discomfort and release tension.
Acknowledging how your physical health is affecting you psychologically empowers you to deal with problems with greater self-awareness. In turn, understanding what you’re up against could make you less susceptible to further harm. Stay engaged with your medical care providers and your support network to prevent your condition from taking over your whole life.