Living with chronic pain can be downright debilitating. Chronic pain can cause you to feel like you have to wear a mask and pretend you are fine when you’re not to prevent being a burden or looking less than perfect to others. However, according to several experts, this is simply not healthy. In fact, they warn that putting others’ expectations and opinions above your own, regarding your well-being, instead of properly caring for yourself can jeopardize your health and put you in even more pain .
As a matter of fact, there are many mistakes people living with chronic pain make to avoid accepting their pain, which ultimately hinders them from experiencing their best health, including:
Ignoring the Pain
Trying to hide your pain in order to appear “normal” can actually cause your pain to worsen, which can really prevent you from enjoying life. Furthermore, ignoring the pain does not make it just go away on its own. It can often be successfully managed with medication or therapy, or both, which can greatly improve your everyday life.
Sometimes admitting that you are in pain can make you feel dismal or pitiful, which can cause you to feel guilty and try to suppress the pain, ultimately making you feel worse.
The next time you’re in pain, instead of feeling like you are letting yourself or others down, experts suggest that you remove such high expectations from yourself and surround yourself with caring friends and family, so you are free to simply focus on healing .
Listening to Others That Have No Idea What You are Going Through
When you listen to other people’s advice or solution concerning your situation, who have no idea what you are going through, can cause you to take improper action towards your pain, making the situation worse.
Instead, it is suggested that you only take the advice of an experienced person who has actually been through what you are experiencing and only proceed with the advice given after consulting a qualified medical specialist to avoid further injuring yourself.
Feeling Like You Have to Justify Your Actions to Others
Trying to justify to others what you need to get through the day in fear of being judged can cause you to forfeit or prolong your healing, which only makes matters worse.
Pain is invisible, which means only you know how you feel, so if somebody else doesn’t understand, that’s their problem, not yours.
Being in pain may make you want to avoid physical activity altogether; however, according to experts, it actually helps relieve pain in various ways. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles, so there’s less stress on the joints and bones, and it also boosts the release of mood-enhancing hormones, which helps you feel good .
The key is to stick to non-weight bearing exercises that don’t put too much pressure on the joints and bones.
Ignoring the Benefits of a Proper Diet
If you are taking medication for pain, consuming a diet high in inflammatory foods can actually work against your medication, which can cause your pain to persist. On the other hand, a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods helps decrease inflammation in the body and allows your medication to work as it should so you reap the benefits .
Not Seeing a Doctor Sooner for the Pain
At the onset of pain, many people simply reach for an over-the-counter medication to ease the discomfort, which may or may not work. However, chronic pain, which typically lasts from 3 months or more, can be a sign of a more serious condition, which requires the assessment of a doctor.
Waiting too long to see the doctor can result in severe damage, which in turn can necessitate expensive surgery to repair. Your doctor will also be able to recommend the best treatment for your specific condition, including any natural remedies, which will help make your treatment more effective.
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