5 Tips to Cope with Chronic Pain

As published by Scientific American, Ellen Hendriksen, PhD

Tip #2: Be active.  You may think you should rest and protect the painful part of your body. You may be scared to move, for fear of more pain.

While rest is essential for acute pain, like a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle, rest reinforces chronic pain. As your muscles get weak and stiff from inactivity, the pain may actually intensify.

So do what activity you can—slowly ride a bike, walk, swim, do chair exercises. Find a gentle yoga class. Lift light weights. And don’t skip physical therapy.

An important trick is to break up exercise into shorter chunks—try for three 10-minute walks rather than one long walk. Also, try not to leave activity until late in the day—you’ll likely be too tired or simply unmotivated.

Being active has one last benefit: it makes you feel less like a prisoner of your pain. You can set goals, get outside, or team up with friends, all of which stave off depression and hopelessness in addition to reducing your pain.

Tip #4: Don’t push through it.  You may push through and accomplish everything on your to-do list, but the next morning you won’t be able to get out of bed.

Instead of strong-arming your pain, try a technique called pacing. The rule of pacing is to stop an activity before you’re in pain. Go by time, not task. Time how long you can comfortably do activities that are challenging for you, like typing, driving, or cleaning. Once you know your limits, aim to do those activities for less time than your limit, and then take a break before your pain flares.

 

Read the next l11 woman13 tips at:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/5-tips-to-cope-with-chronic-pain1/

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