Updated: May 31
Accepting yourself for who you are when experiencing chronic pain is a healthy way to live. Chronic or persistent pain over months or years can make you rethink your life and how to live it.
You may come to the realization that you need to say "No" to many things in order to stay healthy emotionally, physically, and mentally. It's also not uncommon for someone living with chronic pain to doubt their self-worth – especially if they've had repeated experiences with others not understanding what they're going through.
If this sounds like you, there are a few steps you can take to maximize your New York pain management treatment toward accepting yourself despite chronic pain.
Accept That You Can't Control Everything
Acceptance includes accepting that there are some things in life you just can't control. For example, if you have an injury, it's not within your control to heal faster or better than you would normally heal. But what you can control is how you respond to your situation — and how your response will affect the outcome of your healing process.
You don't have control over whether or not you'll ever be completely pain-free again. You don't have control over how your body reacts to certain medications or treatments either. So knowing this helps you let go of the "why me" attitude that often accompanies chronic conditions like chronic back pain (or any other chronic disease).
When you accept this truth about yourself and others, you remove guilt from your mindsets and focus on moving forward towards healing instead of dwelling on past mistakes or failures.
Stop Feeling Guilty About Things That Are Out Of Your Control
If you have a chronic back pain condition, there are some things that you may feel guilty about. For example, perhaps you feel guilty because of the way others treat you or see your condition as something that is out of your control. You may also feel guilty for having trouble performing at work or school due to your back pain.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! You can never prevent other people from treating you in certain ways, but there are certain things that you may have control over within your own life.
Be Kind to Yourself
The most important thing you can do is be kind to yourself. This means being patient with yourself when you feel frustrated, disappointed, or sad about your condition. It's important to recognize that having chronic back pain is not your fault. You did not choose this condition, and you cannot simply "snap out of it."
There are many factors that can contribute to back pain, including:
injuries or surgeries
However, none of these things mean that you are weak or lazy or have poor self-discipline. It's important to remember that no one is perfect, and chronic back pain doesn't mean you're a failure or defective. Everyone has good days and bad days, and it's OK to let yourself off the hook once in a while when you need to take a break from life.
Chronic back pain does not define who you are as a person and it doesn't mean that anything is wrong with you personally. Chronic back pain is a medical condition just like any other chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure. It requires treatment and management just as those conditions do.
Take Charge of What is in Your Power and Let Go of What Isn't
You will find yourself feeling much better if you stop judging yourself for things that aren't under your control and focus on the things within your power. Remember that you don't have control over everything in your life, so don't beat yourself up if something doesn't go as planned.
Instead, focus on what you can control — such as how you react to things or how much time you spend worrying about things that might not even happen — and let go of whatever isn't within your power to change or control. By doing so, you will have a much more positive outlook on life and feel more confident about who you really are overall.
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
It's easy to compare yourself with other people, especially when you're going through a difficult time in your life. But comparing yourself with others only makes you feel worse about yourself because you're comparing your worst moments with someone else's best ones. So instead, focus on what you can do and be proud of what you've accomplished so far.
Also, there's no one-size fits all treatment method when it comes to chronic back pain and that means there's no way of knowing how long your recovery process will take or how long until your symptoms start improving again. It may take weeks or even months before you start noticing any improvement so don't compare yourself to others who appear to be recovering faster than you are.
Stay Active — With Caution
You don't have to give up all your favorite activities just because you have chronic back pain. Exercise is essential for maintaining good health, especially when you have a chronic condition like back pain. But you do need to be careful not to overdo it.
Avoid high-impact activities like running and jumping until your pain has subsided considerably. If an activity makes your back feel worse, stop doing it until your healthcare provider gives you permission or suggests an alternative exercise program.
Find Ways to Relax
Stress can exacerbate back pain by increasing muscle tension and causing inflammation in the area around the spine. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and massage may help ease tension in your muscles as well as reduce stress levels overall. [see How To Manage Stress For Chronic Pain Sufferers]
Don't Let Fear Rule Your Life
Fear can take over when we think about your future and what could happen if you don't get better soon enough. However, fear can also be helpful because it will help motivate you to make positive changes in your life and improve your condition overall.
So, if fear is ruling your life right now because of chronic back pain, then focus on positive things such as how you will get better soon and how much better your life will be once you're fully recovered from this condition.
Get Professional Help From A New York Pain Management Specialist
While there are many ways to manage chronic back pain, sometimes you need treatment. If you're not sure what treatment is right for you, see a pain specialist who can provide the best care for your specific condition.
Especially if you have symptoms that persist for more than six weeks, seek medical attention as soon as possible. A New York pain management specialist can rule out other causes of back pain such as infection, cancer, or arthritis and may recommend physical therapy or steroid injections.
Though chronic pain could be considered a negative thing, it does not mean that you have to live your life in pain. Chronic pain is a very difficult situation to deal with. But you can learn ways to accept the pain and work through it while finding a better overall balance in your life. In summary, we hope you have learned that self acceptance is vital to living a happy and healthy life.