Updated: Jun 2
It's hard to believe that someone could be in chronic pain right now, but it does happen. Yet, everyone experiences pain at some point in life, whether from an injury or something else. If you have ever had chronic pain, you know the huge amount of stress it can cause in your life. There are a number of signs and symptoms chronic pain sufferers experience that persist for longer than three months. It affects everyone differently, and we hear a new story of how people live with this pain every day.
Chronic pain is a complex condition that's affected by many factors, and there are many unique challenges when living with chronic pain. It's not just the pain itself — it can affect everything from your mood to your relationships with others to your ability to work, play and participate in daily activities. It can cause limitations in your life. It's a struggle, but there are things you can do to help manage it. Our New York pain management specialists can help you, and in this blog, we will discuss some of the challenges that come with chronic pain.
1. Your pain levels can change day to day
Chronic pain can affect your life in many ways. One of the most common is that it can make you irritable or moody. Some people even become depressed as a result of their chronic pain.
The amount of pain you experience each day is not always the same. Your pain levels can change day to day, depending on how well you slept, what you ate, and what you did. The amount of activity you do and how much stress you're under can make a big difference in how much pain you feel. Because of these factors, you might feel more or less pain on different days.
You might feel normal one day and then be totally disabled on another day. You may have periods when you're feeling good or even great — these are called "good days" or "highs" — followed by periods when you feel lousy or even terrible — these are called "bad days" or "lows." Your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day; sometimes, you feel great and are able to do something fun, while other times, you might feel too tired or sore to do anything other than rest at home all day long.
2. You often feel tired
You often feel tired and exhausted even when you haven't done anything strenuous. Fatigue is a result of having to use more energy than usual to get through daily activities because your body isn't working at full capacity because of your illness or injury.
In addition to being physically exhausting, chronic pain often makes you feel mentally tired as well. It's common for people with chronic pain to have trouble sleeping because their bodies are in a constant state of alertness due to the pain signals being sent from their brains to their muscles and nerves. This keeps them from getting deep sleep, which leaves them feeling exhausted during the day when they need their energy most.
If this affect you, the most important thing is for you to find a routine that works for you, whether it's physical therapy, meditation, or acupuncture. Set aside time each day for activities like yoga or light stretching, which can help ease muscle tension and improve circulation. And definitely don't hesitate to ask for help from friends and family if needed!
3. You might lose touch with family members
Chronic pain can cause a lot of stress in the family dynamic because everyone is trying to adjust their lives to accommodate yours. Your inability to participate in certain activities may cause friction between siblings or parents, especially if one person feels like they're always doing more than their fair share around the house or with everyday activities. It's possible that relationships could deteriorate over time without proper communication and understanding of everyone's needs.
4. You might lose your job
Being in chronic pain can make it difficult to show up for work every day, especially if you have a physical job that requires a lot of movement or heavy lifting. Even if you don't feel like you're at risk of losing your job right now, chronic pain can lead to financial instability later in life if you're unable to work as much as you used to because of the condition. This can cause a number of other problems like debt and loss of quality of life.
5. Your relationships may suffer
When you're in pain, it's easy to imagine that everyone else is a little more comfortable with life than you are. They have better jobs, fewer money problems, and healthier relationships.
While many people with chronic pain feel isolated, others find themselves unable to participate in activities they used to enjoy. They may not be able to attend social events or spend time with friends because of their condition. These feelings of isolation can make relationships more difficult as well.
You might lose your way in relationships and find it hard to be close to people. The people who know you best might not understand what you're going through or how to help. They will get frustrated when you continually cancel plans and cancel on them. You might feel guilty for making them feel bad, but it's important to remember that feeling bad is just as hard on them as it is on you.
6. It's hard for you to commit to plans
You may have trouble committing to plans because you're worried about having pain flare-ups at inopportune times, like during an important work presentation or when you're visiting family. In addition, chronic pain can make it difficult for you to commit to things like attending social functions or even long-term commitments like marriage because there are no guarantees that your pain won't reappear.
7. You might forget what it feels like to not be in pain
If you're like most people, you probably can't imagine what it would be like if you lived with chronic pain every day. If this is true for you, consider that living with chronic pain is simply not the same as living without.
Chronic pain can take over your life so much that it's easy to get used to being in constant discomfort or even numbness — and not just physically but mentally as well. You might start viewing your current level of functioning as normal, even though it isn't healthy for anyone at any age.
8. You lose independence
This is one of the biggest challenges that come with chronic pain. The pain is so debilitating that it's hard to do anything without help from others. You can't do things that you used to do without pain interfering. You can't even go to the bathroom by yourself. You can't get up and walk around. You need help from others just to get out of bed and into your car for transportation to appointments and other activities. You can't do things that you used to do without pain interfering. This loss of independence can lead to depression and anxiety.
9. Your thinking can get scrambled
Your thinking can get scrambled, and you might not be able to remember things very well. This is because chronic pain affects how your brain works. It interferes with your ability to think clearly and process information because your brain is working hard trying to figure out what is causing your body so much discomfort.
This means that even simple tasks like remembering things or paying attention may become difficult or impossible at times because all of your brain's resources are being used up by dealing with your pain instead of other things like remembering what you're supposed to do next (or even what day it is).
10. You'll feel low at times
Pain can affect your mood, so it's common for people with chronic pain to feel depressed or anxious. It's important not to ignore these feelings and talk about them with someone you trust or a health professional who understand what you're going through – they may be able to help you through this difficult time.
Treat Your Chronic Pain
In the end, the list of challenges that come with chronic pain is extensive—but so, too, are the ways to manage them. If you find yourself experiencing chronic pain, don't panic. Many people initially feel overwhelmed, but the key is to be patient and use this as an opportunity to discover which treatment methods work best for you.
It's important to find a healthcare provider that works well with you and is supportive of your goals. Most importantly, don't give up! While there are several different types of treatment available for chronic pain. Finding the right strategies and treatments may take some time and effort. However, chronic pain doesn't have to be a thing that controls your life if you put in enough work and dedication.
Chronic pain is something that needs to be tended to if you want to continue enjoying life. At our New York pain management center, we help you get better as quickly and safely as possible. Our compassionate, experienced staff members will help you learn how you can manage and relieve your pain. We use a multidisciplinary approach to help you find the best treatment plan for your specific needs. We'll also show you how to live with your pain so that it does not ruin the things you love.
Ultimately, what helps ease chronic pain for you may be different from what helps others. Chronic pain may never go away completely, but remember that chronic pain doesn't mean the end of life as you know it; rather, you can still live a rich and fulfilling life even with chronic pain.