Good days and bad days – Coping with long-term pain
Pain is generally defined by the medical fraternity as a warning signal implying an anticipated danger to the human body. It usually arises as a result of some disorder or impending ailment and in turn gets treated accordingly with suitable treatment modalities. Such pain is normally discussed under two different categories, including:
Acute or short-term pain Chronic or long-term pain
Coping with the acute or short-term pain mainly involves the usage of a combination of drugs and medicines, along with alternative therapies, whenever required. On the other hand, the pain is termed as chronic or long-term when it lasts for more than 6 months, persisting much longer after the original causative disorder has healed.
A visible impact on the daily-life activities and an overall impingement of the individual’s lifestyle are generally the most prominent impacts of long-term pain. An individual suffering form long-term pain goes through a series of turbulent phases which include silent episodes of pain-relief to some extent, followed by a sudden flare-up of pain that can lasts for days or weeks.
In the next section, we’ve discussed and analyzed the key aspects of management of such long-term pain and the approach required to live through the normal as well as the pain-laden phases.
Coping – Key Strategies
1. Psychological battle
The most important aspect of the long-term pain is the psychological impact on the individual concerned. Along with the patient, the family members and other close ones of the individual also go through phases of psychological upheaval, which will be characterized by an upbeat tone in the days when the pain is absent, only to be affected drastically when the pain reoccurs. It is extremely crucial to maintain the right sense of mental balance and attempt to regain mental composure during the days of relief from pain.
2. Medication Cycle
For an individual suffering from long-term pain, it important to evaluate the cycle of medication, along with the dosage and frequency of the same. It is important that the individual consults the physician on the modifications to be made in the medication cycle in accordance with the increase or decrease in the intensity of the pain. It is also very helpful to analyze the side effects of the current medications, which can be done more easily in the days when lesser pain is being experienced.
In a situation where a family member is experiencing long-term pain, it is important that attempts are made to normalize the daily lifestyle. The days, which witness a lesser amount of pain, are an ideal phase to deal with this aspect of pain management. This will further enable the patient to get equipped for the worse days of pain.
4. Plan to cope-up
Experts strongly suggest that the sufferers of long-term pain need to utilize the time with fewer pain episodes in preparing for the days to come. It is important to prepare a comprehensive coping strategy that will help the patient to live through the worse days in an easier manner.
5. Self education
Educating oneself about the pain, its related causes and possible treatments, especially during the lean phase of the pain has also been found to be an effective strategy of coping with long-term pain.