Living with chronic pain can be debilitating. Not only does the pain stop you from carrying out daily activities, but it can also make you feel incredibly isolated. Described as the ‘silent epidemic’ as it’s estimated to affect over two-fifths of the UK population, there is still limited awareness over how chronic pain flare-ups impact sufferers.
Chronic pain can leave you in constant agony, greatly diminishing your quality of life, but to make matters worse, sufferers often experience incidents known as flare-ups. This refers to a period of intense pain that is more severe than the pain you experience daily. Flare-ups may last hours, days, or even weeks and they can come on quickly and without warning, making them difficult to cope with.
Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to manage chronic pain flare-ups.
One of the best ways to manage chronic pain flare-ups is to recognise your triggers. If you aren’t sure what these are, you can identify them by making notes when a flare-up occurs. Write down what you were doing beforehand and look for any patterns that emerge over time.
You won’t always be able to avoid your triggers. For example, the weather can be a trigger for some sufferers. However, if you learn to recognise the triggers you can control, you can reduce the number of flare-ups you experience.
Create a good support system
Living with chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated and alone. Many chronic pain patients also suffer from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It is just as important to seek help for these symptoms as it is for the physical pain.
Building up a good support system will help to manage the mental health effects of chronic pain. Make sure you have at least one other person to turn to when you are struggling. If friends and family aren’t supportive, look for a group you can join on social media. Connecting with other sufferers can make you feel a lot less alone.
Control the pain
Of course, the worst thing about the condition is the pain. The good news is there are a lot of ways you can control the pain. Using cold or heat compresses can help, as can over-the-counter or prescription painkillers.
You can also keep tabs on your pain, monitoring it over time. This will give you an idea of when it is at its worst, helping you to prepare for a flare-up.
Carry out gentle activity
The last thing you want to do when you have chronic pain is exercise. However, a little gentle exercise each day can really help to reduce the pain associated with the condition. It is best to use the services of a trained physiotherapist. They will be able to create a workout plan that is best suited to you. With the right exercises, you can not only reduce pain but build up mobility too. If the joints become stiff through inactivity, it’s going to make the chronic pain worse.
If you are struggling with chronic pain or are having difficulty controlling flare-ups, book a consultation today with pain expert Dr Ivanova-Stoilova.