Thinking of pain as a signal to take positive action rather than an ordeal you have to endure helps you manage your pain. Get your Pain Assessed by your Physiotherapist so you get an accurate diagnosis of its cause and potential therapies to help.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PAIN
Your mind plays an important role in how you feel pain and respond. You may feel helpless and depressed. With these feelings come decreased activity, low self-esteem and increased pain. Use the tips below to build a sense of personal control by adjusting your thoughts and actions.
KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Pain may limit some of the things you can do, but it doesn’t have to control your life. One way to reduce your pain is to build your life around wellness, not pain or sickness. This means
- Thinking positive thoughts
- Enjoying activities with family and friends
- Having a sense of humour
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Eating a balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
- Plan your response to pain
- Come to terms with the fact that pain may last in some form
“Believe that your life is worth living and the belief alone will help create the fact”
DON’T FOCUS ON PAIN
How often do you think about your pain? The amount of time you spend thinking about pain affects how much pain you feel. To take your mind off pain is to focus on something else.
You have the ability to distract yourself from pain. Focusing on something outside your body, such as a hobby or other activity, the less you will be aware of the pain. If you can’t avoid thinking about the pain, try to think of it differently. Think of pain as your body’s message to do something different. For example, if pain is worse after sitting, your body may be telling you to get up and move around.
CHANGING YOUR PAIN HABITS
Changing your habits for dealing with pain will help you feel better. One way to make a change is to do something positive in place of an old habit. Reinforce your behaviour change by rewarding yourself each time you do something positive – perhaps by spending some extra time in a soothing whirlpool or taking an additional 10 minutes to read the morning newspaper
It’s easy to slip into the habit of taking more medicine or relying on unhealthy practices, such as drinking alcohol, to escape pain. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below, you should consider some new ways to handle your pain:
- Do you finish a bottle of pain medicine faster than you used to?
- Do you spend a lot of time in bed, aside from your regular sleep time?
- Do you drink alcohol to ease your pain?
- Do you talk about pain much of the time?