Chronic Pain Treatment
Healthcare providers generally agree that treatment is most successful when a person takes an active role in managing their condition. Your healthcare providers are experts in diagnosing and treating medical problems, but you're the one who lives with chronic pain each day, and you know your situation best.
Become an informed consumer by learning as much as you can about available treatment options. Every treatment is associated with both known benefits and possible risks. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider questions about these benefits and risks when discussing your options.
By being well informed, you'll be better prepared to enter into discussions with your healthcare provider about the most appropriate treatment for you. Knowledge about treatment can also help you have realistic expectations when it comes to your particular situation.
In addition, there are simple strategies you can use to help control your pain at home. For example, eating a well-balanced diet is good for your overall health and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Eating right is an effective strategy for helping anyone feel better (see Diet and Pain).
Exercise is another way to help lessen pain. When you're in pain, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. But inactivity can cause you to lose strength and flexibility, which can make your pain worse. Inactivity can also make your muscles more sensitive to pain.
Finally, if you live with chronic pain, chances are you'll need to take multiple medicines, multiple times a day. If you have problems juggling all your medications, there are simple strategies that can help.
Many people find pill boxes (also called medisets) useful for organizing their medicines. Pill boxes also serve as reminders of whether you took a medicine or not. Timers or alarms are another strategy for people who forget to take their medicines as scheduled. For many chronic pain conditions, preventing pain is more effective than treating it once it has occurred, which makes taking medications on schedule important.