Chronic pain can be frustrating and disheartening, but there are ways you can support a loved one as they address and manage this complex condition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019, 20.4% of adults had chronic pain and 7.4% of adults had chronic pain that frequently limited life or work activities. The many people who live with chronic pain, understandably, find their quality of life to be affected.
When your loved one is struggling with chronic pain, it can be difficult to determine how best to help them. However, there are treatment options available for those with chronic pain, which we will explore here.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Unlike acute pain, chronic pain persists after tissues are healed, lasting several months, years or decades. When someone is living with chronic pain, they may experience mild discomfort at all times or relentless pain that is more intense; in some cases, chronic pain is severe and life-altering. It may render a person unable to walk, sit, or perform typical daily tasks without assistance.
Living with constant discomfort can be challenging, even when a person’s pain is relatively mild.
Fortunately, treating and managing chronic pain is possible. If you have a loved one experiencing this condition, you can learn about treatment options here and gain a better understanding about which might best suit their needs.
Helping a Loved One with Chronic Pain
While you might not be able to relieve your loved one’s pain, there are ways you can help.
Show Emotional Support
Your patience and compassion will help your loved one feel their concerns are heard and respected. A few simple things you can do to show support include:
- Listen. Individuals who are struggling may want to talk about how their pain affects them.
- Help. It is important that your loved one keeps doing whatever they can. Offer to assist them with everyday tasks that are difficult for them.
- Support. Individuals with chronic pain frequently feel a loss of control over their situation. Ask questions about their treatment and care plan preferences.
Showing your loved one that you’re a supportive force in their life may make them feel you can be a welcome resource in helping them explore treatment solutions.
If you’ve never experienced chronic pain, it can be challenging to empathize with someone who has. Still, there are chronic pain websites such as U.S. Pain Foundation and American Academy of Pain Medicine and information available from medical providers that you can use to educate yourself on this issue. This can help you more effectively communicate with your loved one about their condition.
It is important to respect your loved one’s preferences and point of view—especially if they are an adult—if you are in a position to help them determine their best treatment options.
Potential treatment options may include:
- Chronic pain management services, which often consists of physical therapy and may include meditation and mental health awareness education
- Chronic pain rehabilitation services, a comprehensive alternative that incorporates various techniques to wean off opioid medication, regain function when possible, and introduce alternative pain management strategies.
A common course of action is to combine pain management services with low-addictive-potential pain treatment medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Few chronic pain management and treatment programs offer this level of care. As such, pain rehabilitation services may provide an effective all-around option.
An individual with chronic pain may be experiencing concurrent depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, these psychological issues aren’t often addressed by physical pain treatment approaches.
A top-rated chronic pain rehabilitation service will address a person’s psychological as well as physical wellbeing. Chronic pain rehabilitation services can also help individuals overcome a reliance on opioid pain medications, even those who have relied on pain relief medication for longer periods of time.
Another positive aspect of rehabilitation services is individualized care. Remember, every person’s body and pain thresholds are unique. General pain management treatments may not suit your loved one. A chronic pain rehabilitation program with personalized care can support them to meet their goals.
In short, if your loved one is looking for a comprehensive solution to long-term pain, chronic pain rehabilitation should be a consideration.
Chronic pain treatment is more than addressing the issue of pain. Chronic pain can impact every aspect of your life, from daily tasks to beloved hobbies and valued relationships.
Understanding these effects is an important way you can show compassion for your loved one who is living with this condition. By seeking out a program that addresses the physical aspect as well as the emotional facet of chronic pain, you are offering your loved one the greatest chance at long-term recovery from a debilitating illness.
Taking care of your loved one is important, but CP affects the entire family dynamic. Seek resources and help.
Do you have questions about how chronic pain rehabilitation services work? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at (402) 573-3700 today for more information.