Five Tips on How to Follow Your Pain Management Plan
Managing pain is part of a great many people’s lives today. During the process of setting up and implementing a pain management plan, there may be days when you feel great and hopeful and days when you feel completely discouraged. This is to be expected. Unfortunately, on the latter type of days, it can feel all too tempting to temporarily disregard your pain management plan or even stop following it altogether.
In this post, learn five key tips to help you keep following your pain management plan no matter how you may feel on a given day.
Tip #1: Resist the urge to compare yourself to others.
Each pain management plan is created differently. In fact, the nature of a personal pain management plan is that it is unique to the person who needs it. So any attempts to compare your plan or your progress to that of others, even if you share certain diagnoses, is likely just going to set you up for failure.
If you can’t resist the urge to compare, then compare yourself to yourself. Compete with yourself to see how much progress you can make by diligently following your plan. Keep a pain management journal and note high points so you can look back and see how well it is working.
Tip #2: Ask your doctor what you should expect.
When you start a pain management plan for the first time, be sure to ask your doctor about what to expect.
Otherwise, you may risk setting yourself up for failure. For example, if you think you will feel better the next day but your doctor knows it will take a few weeks, you need to know that so you can stay the course.
Tip #3: Don’t forget about your mind.
While of course your body is in pain, with chronic pain in particular, the physical pain you are experiencing can literally create as well. For example, chronic anxiety or worry can cause cortisol to build up in your system, exacerbating inflammation and creating discomfort in your body.
So you want to seek out appropriate help for the mind/emotions and keep your pain management program on track.
Tip #4: Refuse to let pain become your identity.
Pain is something you have, not who you are. Yet when pain is there on a daily basis, it can feel like it has literally become “you.” Staying engaged with others, seeking out support groups and pursuing hobbies can be reminders you are more than your pain.
Tip #5: Keep in touch with your doctor.
Finally, you should schedule regular times to check in with your doctor about your pain so you don’t worry or let your questions or concerns build up. This way, your doctor can also be a source of support and may even notice small improvements that you can’t see.
With these five tips, you can make a firmer commitment to following your pain management plan and enjoy the results much sooner.