Self-Care of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

By on December 16, 2019
Chronic

Self-care is sometimes confused with self-indulgence. Excessive spending and consumerism can be immediately gratifying, but it can actually be detrimental to your health and wellbeing over time. True self-care is a persistent commitment to keeping all aspects of your life in balance. Sometimes this involves indulgence, and other times it asks for discipline. When you are living with chronic pain of any nature, it can be hard to entertain a concept as lofty and “new age” sounding as self-care. At first glance, it can come off as some nonsense hippy stuff rebranded for the Millenium, and when you are just trying to get through the day without breaking down from pain, who has the time for that?

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Self-care can actually help manage your pain symptoms if you can believe it! True self-care will put your pain into perspective and help give you the mental, physical, and spiritual tools to manage it and, hopefully, even gradually lessen it over time.

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So how do chronic pain sufferers get started with mastering the art of self-care?

As with all things, start small!

Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol or CBD is a magical little component of the cannabis Sativa plant (known as marijuana) and hemp. The CBD component does not induce the “high” associated with using marijuana, which is actually resultant of an entirely different component known as THC.

Research into CBD is still ongoing, but there is strong evidence that CBD can help relieve inflammation and associated pain. CBD is also anecdotally said to be relaxing and soothing to users. While it may not reduce the pain itself, per se, there is strong evidence that it helps the user experience the pain with less severity.

The most popular way to intake CBD is to incorporate CBD oil into your diet. Eating fat helps the CBD become more soluble, so if you would like to increase the efficacy of the oil feel free to indulge in inappropriate foods. 

Other ways to make use of CBD are topical creams that you can apply directly to your pained joints or body parts. There are also high CBD hemp plants available to smoke that can provide the same benefits of CBD oil in a more efficacious manner, though this is less popular as it carries the stigma associated with smoking marijuana.

Be More Proactive about Pain and Listen to Your Body

Taking the initiative in your pain management is the most important step of self-care. When you are a chronic sufferer of pain, it can be difficult to discern what is and is not worth seeing a doctor about. After all, when pain is a daily facet of your life, what is a little more?

But you should always be listening to the signals your body gives you—even if you don’t like what it says. An important step to being proactive about your pain and its management is finding a doctor who takes it seriously. You want a compassionate medical provider.

Research any and all physicians you work with carefully and have a well-vetted list of urgent cares on call that will give you empathetic service. “When finding urgent care, look for a comfortable, stress-free, and efficient environment that makes you relaxed,” says the doctors at Community Health 1st ER, a Deer Park urgent care.

Different Therapy

Invest in different forms of therapy. There are so many different types of therapy beyond your standard physical therapy or mental therapy. While those are important, they can (and should!) be used in conjunction with other, regenerative forms of therapy.

Some activities may count as “therapy” without you even realizing it. One great example is art therapy! Painting, sculpting, drawing, knitting…the list of possible forms of art therapy is literally endless. It is all based on your perspective. Taking the time to dedicate to something fun and relaxing is the therapy itself, rather than the act.

Another therapy you should seriously consider (under the guidance of a physician) is yoga. I know, I know: you have probably heard this before, and you are probably tired of hearing it. Granted, it is not the cure-all yoga enthusiasts will try to convince you it is, but yoga is incredibly effective at relieving the pain in chronic sufferers.

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More “Me” Time

When you are maintaining a family or home with chronic pain, daily tasks can be three or four times more exhausting. Sometimes, there is no end to the list of things you need to do. When you even so much as think of sitting on the couch or taking a brief nap, two more chores pop up that demand your attention.

But your obligation is not just to make other people happy. You have an obligation to yourself, too! Some things, like the dishes or the laundry, can wait. If you are having a particularly rough day or a week, carve out an hour dedicated to something that benefits you and you alone. It can be extremely satisfying and gratifying to take up a hobby or take a nap without fear that you are missing out or disappointing someone else.

Besides, there is plenty of evidence that you should be spending more time alone, anyway.

 

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Self-Care of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain