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How to Handle Chronic Pain

Your pain is real, it's continual, and you want relief. Here's how to get it.


  • Step 1: Consult a doctor Consult a medical professional to address pain problems, especially if they derive from or include shaking an addiction to pain medication. Ultimately, you have to handle this on your own.
  • TIP: Find a support group for pain sufferers so that you don't feel alone.
  • Step 2: Practice mental pain reduction Practice mental pain reduction. See your pain as weak, or visualize soothing images.
  • Step 3: Learn to breathe Learn breathing techniques, like inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth as you push out your stomach. Check into hospital programs on guided breathing.
  • Step 4: Distract yourself Distract yourself with pleasurable activities with family or friends. Going to a film or stage show, a dinner, a sporting event, or church gatherings and outings can take the edge off for a while. Connect with others and get your mind off the pain.
  • Step 5: Experiment with movement Experiment with regaining difficult movement by pacing yourself, working small areas in restricted but widening arcs, stopping when the pain intrudes instead of pushing through it like trainers often encourage.
  • TIP: Set realistic goals. Faster is not necessarily better.
  • Step 6: Try Yoga Stretch and practice low impact, daily exercises, like yoga. The mental stimulus of doing something to help yourself and experiencing the resultant cascade of endorphins can be valuable.
  • Step 7: Undergo acupuncture Undergo acupuncture, which has been successful with postoperative and chemotherapy pain, nausea, headaches, cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic pains.
  • Step 8: Accept drugs Accept that some pain medication may be necessary until you can find the perfect combination of activities to manage your pain.
  • FACT: Between 460 and 377 BCE, Hippocrates left instructions on pain treatment using powder from the bark and leaves of willow trees that is commonly used in aspirin.

You Will Need

  • Doctor
  • Mental pain reduction techniques
  • Distractions
  • Movement
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Drugs
  • Support group (optional)
  • Realistic goals (optional)

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