Watching someone you care about struggle with something you can’t see can make you feel helpless. Chronic pain affects everyone around you, and it can become difficult to care for your loved one when you don’t know how to help their condition.
It can be discouraging when you feel that your support is not accomplishing as much as you want it to, but it is important to remember that someone struggling with chronic pain needs a support system more than anything.
“Patients who described their families as being supportive reported significantly less pain intensity, less reliance on medication and greater activity levels” per this study.
What is Chronic Pain?
Any pain that lasts longer than six months is considered chronic pain, and chronic pain is often still around even after the initial injury or condition has healed. Unlike acute pain – which is almost always the result of a specific injury – chronic pain sometimes does not have an identifiable source.
If you have never had chronic pain, it may be difficult to understand the extent and complexity of it. You may not know the best ways to help support your loved ones, but fortunately, there is a lot you can do to help ease the pain.
How To Deal With A Loved One With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is often a unique, individualized experience that does not show visible symptoms. Perhaps the most important way to help your loved one is to learn as much about chronic pain as possible. The good news is you have already started this process.
Try asking your loved one some starter questions to help understand their pain, such as the following:
- Where is the pain?
- When did the pain start?
- Do you have a coexisting condition?
- How does your pain affect your everyday life?
- What helps your pain?
The answers to these questions can provide you with valuable insight that allows you to better empathize with your loved one.
Learn the Pain Scale
The pain scale can be a valuable tool for understanding the intensity of pain at a given moment. The pain scale goes from 1 to 10, typically, with 0 meaning the person has no pain and 10 meaning the worst possible pain.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Maintaining a good diet and engaging in some physical activity are some of the best ways to treat chronic pain, so it is important to encourage these habits in your loved one.
Encourage Getting Treatment
It can be difficult to maintain treatments like medication or physical therapy, but it is very important to hang on to your treatment plan. It is important to encourage them to continue on this treatment path in order to
manage their symptoms.
Respect Their Limitations
They may not be able to do everything they used to do. They may not want to spend as much time being social as before. It is important that you remember they are suffering from something you cannot see.
If you or a loved one are dealing with chronic pain, contact us today to learn more about our innovative new treatments for chronic pain.