“Surrender is an incredibly difficult topic in light of chronic illness, because loss is often continued and sustained.” – Cindee Snider Re
As someone that knows quite a few people with chronic pain and deals with it herself, I thought it was a fairly normal occurrence but apparently, I was wrong with this. I tend to be very quiet about my chronic pain problem, not for one particular reason I just think there are more important things to chat about. But after a flare-up this past week where I told some people about it for the first time I thought it was time to chat and educate.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is pain that is ongoing and lasts longer than six months. It can last weeks or years, and the level of pain can fluctuate.
What causes chronic pain?
There are a plethora of things that can cause chronic pain. A few of them include:
- Car crash
- Intense physical labor
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Nerve damage
Sometimes you can track chronic pain back to one specific moment but it isn’t uncommon for the pain to slowly build and then one day you realize you don’t remember life without pain. People with chronic pain tend to have extremely high pain tolerances because they’re used to dealing with some level of pain on a day-to-day basis.
Who’s at risk for chronic pain?
Inevitably everyone is at risk for chronic pain. It doesn’t pick one age, race, or gender. But it is most common in older adults, besides age other factors that might increase your risk of developing chronic pain include:
- Being overweight
- Having a surgery
- Having an injury
- Being female
Types of chronic pain
- Nociceptive Pain
- Somatic Pain
- Visceral Pain
- Neuropathic Pain
- Psychogenic Pain
- Idiopathic Pain
Dealing with lasting pain
Since there typically isn’t a cure or at least a quick cure for chronic pain the future can look bleak for those that suffer from it. It can put you in unfortunate situations. For example, those that deal with pain tend to also deal with fatigue due to the amount of pain they’re in and the level of energy required to keep their body going.
It is important to take good care of your mind and your body. It can feel like an isolating journey but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you’re fueling your body with good nutrients, getting enough sleep, and moving your body regularly.
One crucial area when dealing with lasting pain is not isolating yourself. Continue socializing and seeking support wherever needed. One thing that can be extremely useful is a support group of people with chronic pain.
If you know someone that is suffering from chronic pain or if you yourself are dealing with it feel free to reach out. I’d love to chat! No one is in this alone and there are plenty of opportunities and resources out there. The fatigue that comes with chronic pain can be overwhelming at times do what you need to do.
You’re never as alone as you think you are, reach out if you need help. People are always willing to offer a helping hand. Pain is not fun, it sucks, it’s exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be a sentence to a boring life.