• What Not to Do When You Suffer from Chronic Pain

    by Caroline Ryther
    on Jun 4th, 2018

According to statistics from 2017, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, while over 1.5 billion people worldwide deal with chronic pain on a day-to-day basis. It’s the number one cause of long-term disability in the US, which can lead to depression, lack of sleep, and numerous other problems.

When it comes to chronic pain or illness, the most important thing to recognize is that you have your limitations. More often than not, people choose to ignore the pain in favor of trying to function normally, but all this does is make things worse, both physically and mentally.

In order to make the pain manageable, you need to set some ground rules when it comes to the things you can and can’t do. Below are five points you can pay attention to and do your best to make it easier for yourself to live with chronic pain.

1. Don’t say ‘yes’ to every activity and listen to your body.

If you suffer from back or leg pain, and someone in your life suggests that you go for a bike ride or a hike, don’t feel like you have to accept the suggestion at all cost. What can happen is that you end up in worse pain then you already are and eliminate any progress you might have made in the past towards relieving your pain.

2. Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes.

It sounds so simple, yet a lot of people still insist on wearing their old, regular clothes even though they might be causing them pain. What you need to do is forget about restrictive clothing such as tight jeans or fancy shoes, and focus on wearing something you’re comfortable in. Of course, you can break this rule if you have a special occasion to go to and believe wearing nice clothes will boost your mood.

3. Don’t speak unkindly of yourself.

When you get frustrated with your pain and the fact that you can’t do something that used to be a piece of cake for you, don’t give in to the urge to call yourself names, e.g. “dumb” or “idiot”. Don’t judge yourself, because this can only make you feel worse mentally and even intensify your pain. Do your best to treat yourself with kindness and avoid negative thoughts.

4. Don’t burden yourself with keeping your home spotless.

Some things, like cleaning, become increasingly more difficult as the pain progresses. Accept that you don’t have to live in a spotless environment and take this burden off yourself. It might be difficult at first, but your body will thank you for this later on.

5. Don’t think of the habits from your pre-illness life.

Being in pain is hard enough on its own, without you constantly reminding yourself of what you were able to do once and what you can’t anymore. The best practice here is to just freeze your old life, remember how good it was, and then try to move on. Remember: lives, even those of healthy people, change all the time. Think of this as another change to get used to.


Do you or does someone in your family suffer from chronic pain? Dr. Best and the team at the Neuroscience Center have worked with different cases of chronic pain and can help you with pain relief.


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Author Caroline Ryther

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