Chronic pain involves more than just physical pain. In fact, recent studies have discovered that chronic pain is greatly influenced by how the brain processes the body’s pain signals. Additional components can include emotional reactions like fear, anxiety, stress, and terror and these reactions can exacerbate and increase symptoms. Since pain is subjective to the person experiencing it, it is imperative to find a healthy way of managing the sensations and to create a coping strategy that allows an individual to feel more empowered over their pain.
When it comes to coping with chronic or persistent pain, the main focus is to find a way to achieve a better quality of life that decentralizes pain for an individual and thus allows them to live a happy life. To help do this, several different approaches include:
Both self-taught and administered hypnosis can help reduce the perception of pain as a form of relaxation training.
Taught by professionals who use machines to help teach control over bodily functions, biofeedback therapy can help with mastering muscle tension and relaxation training. Once mastered, an individual will have greater control over their body and can somewhat reduce pain.
From massage therapy to meditation, proper relaxation involves slow, deep breathing and the ability to release tension from the body’s muscles. Regular practice can build on muscle memory and help reduce the perception of pain.
Visual imagery and distraction techniques can help reinforce positivity to reduce pain. Concentrating on a peaceful scene or creating a mantra to repeat can reduce the perception of pain.
Being able to remove attention from pain is the first step in coping. Either with one of the techniques listed above or with a different approach, focus and deep breathing to relax the body is key in living with chronic pain.