Your chronic back pain can keep you frustrated and isolated from people and activities you love. Sometimes it feels like the pain is your only focus and it's a struggle to live a "normal" life. Working with a pain management center is key to creating a life where you are in control, not your pain. Along with the clinic's recommendations, here are four ways to help you live a normal life in spite of the pain.
Sessions with a Life Coach
Your pain can get in the way of all areas of your life. Relationships with family and friends, your job or school, and your recreational activities are all impacted. It becomes overwhelming when it feels like your normal life is unraveling.
Life coaches look at all aspects of your life and help you to put the pieces back together again, making space for it all around your pain management. They will give you techniques to break down the problem areas into smaller components you can work on.
Part time work, flexible schedules or work-at-home opportunities may help with the job frustration. Having a sitter watch the kids while you and your partner have a quiet evening out heals relationships. The life coach helps you focus on your life and see the pain just as another piece to address.
Your pain management center can recommend support groups. Look online for national organizations that have local branches that meet regularly. Find people who have a similar problem as yours and get involved. The importance of a support group to you is two-fold:
You will meet people who understand your frustrations and fears. These are people you can talk with because they know the problems associated with chronic back pain. This encourages you to get out and not isolate yourself. Support groups are a way to stay active in a community.
You will learn different techniques for living with the pain. By sharing experiences in the group, people hear new ways to deal with chronic pain. You'll learn what works and what doesn't for some people.
Becoming active in a support group gives you a chance to share your experiences with others. As you continue to work in the group, you may become a mentor to people who are struggling with their recent diagnosis of chronic pain.
A regular massage session can take your mind off of the back pain and help you focus on other parts of your body. A massage therapist trained in chronic pain techniques is another type of support by a person who understands your frustrations. The sessions can become a weekly treat that you look forward to. Hydrotherapy, hot stones and mineral spring baths are all different massage therapies that use heat to relieve pain and relax your muscles and nerves. Try different massage practitioners until you find the technique you enjoy most.
Think of this as massage therapy for your mind. Focusing on your pain constantly limits your creating thinking. Art therapy lets you exercise other parts of your mind. Try different activities such as working with clay or water colors. Create a collage from found items or take a welding class and work with ornamental iron. You may want to try a number of creative activities before you settle on those that you really enjoy.
Talk with the back pain clinic staff, such as Bronx Physical Therapy LLP, for more information. about different programs available. The more interesting and exciting activities you add to your life, the more control you'll have. Don't be consumed by the thought of your pain when there are so many ways to reach out for help and get refocused on the things you enjoy.