Dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis can put a major strain on your overall happiness in life, whether you are dealing with something life-threatening like the end stage of cancer or something less dangerous but still painful, like arthritis and other forms of joint inflammation. If you’re looking to take your life back into your own hands, here are five coping tips for living with chronic pain and managing chronic pain.
1. Find an Insurance Provider Who Can Give you the Treatment You Need
You can’t experience relief if you have no coverage or have an insurer that provides little to no benefits. If you are 65 (or you qualify in some other way), you should begin looking into the federal Medicare program provided by the U.S. government.
Take a moment to learn more about the different types of medicare (such as Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B.), when open enrollment is available, and what the Medicare advantage is. You should also look into Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), which will cover you for some of the things that your Medicare insurance plan may not. A Medicare Supplement Plan may be needed if you have certain needs that are not covered by your Medicare contract but may be covered by a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. Make sure to look for quotes for Medicare Insurance as soon as possible so you don’t miss the deadline.
If you don’t qualify for Medicare, you can always look into another insurance company (such as a private insurance company) and find an HMO or PPO that works for you. Before you sign up, however, pay attention to what your deductible, copayments, and other responsibilities will be when you begin approaching an insurance agent.
2. Focus on Self-Care and Relaxation
Balancing life and pain can sometimes seem impossible, especially if you are dealing with something painful like a renal disease. While you will have to rely on your prescription drug plan to help you cope with the serious physical symptoms, you should make an effort to focus more on self-care and relaxation in the meantime.
Some common relaxation exercises include taking up meditation, learning deep breathing exercises, or doing something more physical like yoga. As long as you learn how to relax and shift your focus away from your pain, you can experience a better quality of life.
3. Seek Out Alternative Treatment Methods for Minor Relief
The problem with many medications is that, while drug administration is beneficial over time, you can’t take too much of it throughout the day without suffering from the side effects or a potential overdose. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other alternative treatment methods at your disposal. Some people supplement their prescription medications with acupuncture, cupping, or other forms of massage therapy.
Another popular treatment option is herbal medicine, with Cannabidiol (CBD) leading the pack. CBD is a cannabinoid found within the hemp plant that is said to have pain-relieving properties. Whether you choose to use various strains of CBD flower products with their strong aroma, CBD oil (tinctures) filled with flavor and all of the terpenes that hemp and hemp flowers have to offer, or edibles designed for ease-of-use, there are plenty of ways that you can reap the benefits of the hemp plant.
The good news is that CBD products often have low levels of THC (which won’t show up on a drug test like Sativa or other THC flowers) or no THC at all. That said, it’s important that you pay close attention to the products you choose to purchase and take the time to understand important identifiable information, whether you buy your favorite strain of CBD hemp flower, your favorite oil, or any other form of CBD made from industrial hemp.
4. Consider Counseling to Help You Deal With Your Emotions
You can’t expect yourself to cope with the stress of pain if you have never had to deal with a similar situation in your life. In order to learn how to deal with the mental side effects, you should consider seeing a counselor. While the purpose of this communication will be to help you express your pain and work through it, you will also be learning valuable coping mechanisms that will help you deal with your pain in the future, which will be vital to your success in managing your chronic pain in the future.
If you do plan on seeking out a counselor, make sure to reach out to your health insurer to see if your insurance policy covers counseling, what the out-of-pocket costs may be, and if there are any exclusions you should be aware of.
5. Begin Living a Healthier Lifestyle
Your overall quality of health (beyond the chronic illness that you are currently experiencing) has a major impact on your ability to cope with your pain. For example, exercising can produce endorphins that boost your mood as well as your level of pain.
Additionally, exercise can help your muscles better cope with any pain they may be feeling. You should also focus on improving your diet to target some of your symptoms, getting better sleep, and making sure that all areas of your life are well-maintained to decrease your stress and improve your overall health.
Although managing chronic pain takes a lot of willpower and dedication, there are plenty of ways to make your symptoms more manageable. If you are tired of letting your pain run your life, use the five tips above to regain control and live a life that you desire.