National Pain Awareness Month was established in 2001 and is observed in September every year. Pain professionals and activists from all around the country get together to raise awareness about problems connected to chronic pain.
Did you know that due to the opioid crisis millions of people with chronic pain have been tapered off of opioid medications and not offered other treatment options? This leads to tremendous pain and suffering, feelings of abandonment, anxiety and depression and even suicide.
Pain Awareness Month aims to make the public aware of how prevalent general pain is, educate them on how to deal with pain, find alternative and holistic remedies for pain and collect funding for research into the causes and treatment of various forms of pain.
It also creates a community for pain sufferers that can join together to find other therapies and natural remedies to alleviate the agony they are experiencing. More people these days are realizing that prescription and over the counter pain meds are doing more harm than good and are not even that effective over time. It’s just not worth the sacrifice of health! There are a lot of people with chronic pain that are resigned to the fact that they will just have to live with their pain, feeling hopeless and exhausted from the day to day challenges that they have to endure. There is hope!
Thanks to pain awareness month there is research being done on all types of pain. Understanding and differentiating the type of pain someone is experiencing will determine remedies and action steps to take in relieving and conquering the day to day discomfort.
These are the 4 major types of pain:
Stress releases stress hormones such as cortisone, which in turn cause inflammation and more pain. If you can reduce your stress, you can reduce some of your pain.
Researchers found that in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex associated with emotion gets stuck in the active mode and does not switch off causing it to be stuck on full throttle, wearing out neurons and altering their connections. People with unrelenting pain don’t only suffer from the non-stop sensation of throbbing pain but also are highly emotional and stressed all the time.
There are some key coping skills and antidotes that everyone with chronic pain should adopt and work to master for success in dealing with their pain condition.
Below are 7 basic coping skills you can implement now to help reduce your pain:
1. Understanding– Do your research and understand the reason behind your pain. When you have a clear sense of what is happening in your body and what is causing your pain you can feel more settled in just knowing this information. From there you can make a plan of action to move in the direction of some form of healing.
2. Accepting– Acceptance and having appropriate attitudes and expectations about chronic pain are key to living with more positive outcomes. When you change the mindset of “woe is me” or “why me?” to “what now?” you can then bring your focus on becoming proactive and empowered to take on the challenge of finding remedies that help alleviate the pain and create a more positive mindset.
3. Balancing– There is a balance between doing too much and doing too little. Activity is important even for pain sufferers. It is up to you to know your personal limitations, or, when to push yourself a little more. Remember exercise releases natural endorphins which not only lessen the pain but also boosts your mood. Creating healthy consistent routines and adopting self care habits is key.
4. Calming– Cultivate practices that can calm the body and mind. Pain triggers a fight or flight response which causes more tension and more pain. By relaxing through breathing techniques and meditation you will be in control of accessing the parasympathetic nervous system response (rest, relax and repair) to help reduce your pain levels naturally.
5. Conquering your emotions– It’s always good to have tips and techniques to use when the pain becomes more severe and you are feeling really low. There are a myriad of emotions associated with chronic pain such as, sadness, fear, hopelessness, feeling overwhelmed , depression etc…It is easy to get stuck in these emotions and spiral down into negative thought patterns. Meditation is a great way to intercept your emotions and clear your mind. Even just 5-10 minutes can help. Another way is to repeat a mantra. Here is an example: As long as I am alive and breathing on this earth I will never give up! Repeat it until you believe it! You can say this over and over daily and also write it in a notebook over and over. This is a very effective tool to intercept that downward spiral and begin to create a positive feedback loop. You can even create your very own positive mantra. Over time this will enable your mind to be positively proactive rather than negatively reactive. Conquering your emotions is key!
6. Natural remedies-Find natural pain relieving remedies and therapies that you can use that can help take the edge off, even if it’s for temporary relief. Here are some suggestions:
7. Join a support group. Here’s is a link to find a support group so you can stay connected and learn some tips and tricks to help with pain.
1 .Learn coping skills and how to conquer your emotions.
2. Learn deep breathing and meditation to help you relax.
3. Reduce stress in your life.
4. Boost chronic pain relief with the natural endorphins from exercise.
5. Always have natural remedies available.
6. Try new types of therapeutic modalities that your insurance may cover.
7. Join a support group.
I hope that you will find some comfort in my blog and know that you are not alone. There are lots of resources and support groups available that can help in many ways where you can connect with others to find inspiration and ideas that can be transformational and help your situation.
Please share this information with anyone you think may benefit.
Wishing you all the best in Health, peace and love,