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How to Cope with Chronic Pain: Tips for Overcoming Injury and Pain

by Jackie Waters(more info)

listed in integrated medicine, originally published in issue 276 - February 2022


A major injury can be life-changing. It can take months to years to recover from injury, and some people never return to their former ability.


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That's not to say recovery is hopeless. There's a lot you can do to overcome injury and regain strength and agility after injury. In the meantime, however, you need coping mechanisms to help you deal with the physical and emotional impacts of chronic pain.

If you're new to living with chronic pain, here's everything you need to know about coping with, and moving on from, chronic pain, presented by Positive Health Online.

Dealing with a Chronic Pain Diagnosis

One of the hardest parts of a major injury is knowing that your body may never be the same.

  • From denial to anger to depression, many of the feelings we face after a chronic pain diagnosis are based in grief. Channeling negative emotions into healthy outlets and practicing mindfulness are key to eventually accepting your diagnosis;
  • It's also important to talk to loved ones about your condition. Pain is often invisible, and families need to understand your pain in order to help.
  • If you're struggling to settle into a normal everyday routine, work with an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy serves as a complement to physical therapy, particularly for upper extremity injuries.

Managing Chronic Pain in Daily Life

The key to living with chronic pain is learning how to manage it. From pain-reducing strategies to mental health self-care, these tips help you live better with chronic pain.

  • Don't stop moving. Movement not only builds strength and improves healing, but exercise also releases endorphins that naturally reduce pain;
  • In addition to prescribed treatments, experiment with non-drug therapies like massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture;
  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness not only helps you keep a positive attitude, but it can also change your experience of pain itself. Body scan meditations are a great place to get started;
  • Find ways to reduce stress. This can be through decluttering to keep your home a comfortable refuge, or addressing financial strain and cutting your spending or even remortgaging your home.

Taking Care of Your Health

It's also important to take care of your overall health when recovering from an injury.

  • Make good sleep a priority. Unfortunately, this can be hard to do when you're in pain. Practice good sleep hygiene, develop relaxation strategies, and talk to your doctor if insomnia persists;
  • Proper nutrition is critical during recovery. Shopping and cooking may prove difficult with chronic pain, so build a repertoire of easy, nutritious recipes to turn to;
  • If you're feeling depressed due to your diagnosis or struggling to maintain a positive outlook, talk to a mental health professional. Therapies like CBT can help you regain a healthy state of mind.

Chronic pain can be life-changing, but it's not life-ending. Rather than letting your diagnosis rule your life, take control by learning to cope with chronic pain.


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About Jackie Waters

Jackie Waters is the mother of four beautiful and energetic boys who live on their  three acre hobby farm in Oregon. Her goals are to feed her family as much fresh and home-grown food as possible, focus on sustainability while doing so, and practice simplicity. She is here to tell you: you can have it all. With diligence and balance, you can achieve a beautiful, clean home. Jackie’s journey has been full of challenges; she has learned so much along the way. She would like to share with you her ideas and tips on how to be...Hyper Tidy. Please contact Jackie via 

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