Why does it still hurt? Things you should know about chronic pain.

Why does it still hurt? Is the wound still there?

When you recover from an injury, do you have the experience that you still have some pain (pain scale 1–2 out of 10) after a long period of time and start to feel strange/ sore in parts that were not injured?

How chronic pain affect your body

Do you have the experience that when you feel sick, you feel pessimistic and easily fatigued during that day? It is because pain is highly related with cognition and emotions.

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash
  1. Mood: Negative emotions are commonly connected with pain.
  2. Sleep quality: Midnight pain or conceptions such as “the pain might get worse overnight” may influence the sleep cycle.
  3. Concentration: It is hard to focus on a task if pain is constantly “bothering” you.
  4. Quality of life (QOL): Unrefreshing sleep is a major cause of decreased QOL. You may also find yourself unwilling to try new activities or explore outdoors when dealing with pain.
  5. Social life: chronic pain and other symptoms can be predicted by social isolation.

How to deal with chronic pain?

Chronic pain affects the brain and mind deeply. Thus, apart from following drug prescriptions, there is more to do. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Behavior/cognitive therapy: Relearning the response when pain occurs. The “coping” mechanism of pain is essential.
  2. Psychological therapy: By seeing a psychiatrist, learning to say your fears out loud is a great way to decrease pressure.
  3. Exercise: Exercise has been suggested to have analgesic effects, the body increase levels of endogenous opioids which decrease the perception of pain. Yoga is a great way to clear your body and mind.
  4. Nutrition: Gluten- or grain- free diets are helpful to alleviate chronic pain conditions.

Keep in mind that the best way to treat chronic pain is to not let acute pain go into chronic. It is better to prevent it than to spend a lot of time trying to fix the problem.

If you are already dealing with chronic pain, treatment from a psychology perspective might be helpful!

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物理治療師 女性運動與姿勢矯正 physiotherapist, MS, CES