Your 20s should be characterized by adventure, self-discovery and unrestrained fun. However, when you’re in your 20s and having to battle chronic pain, you may not get to enjoy life as much as you’d like. Chronic pain can be a nightmare for anyone who has to deal with it; it can be extremely disruptive. It can make simple things like dancing the night away or engaging in fun sports arduous tasks.
Being in pain more often than you’d like can also take a toll on your mental health. As tempting as it may be to mask the pain in hopes that it all goes away, it may be better to face it head-on. How then do you deal with chronic pain when you’re in your 20s?
Before you try to remedy chronic pain, it helps to know what’s causing it to begin with because sometimes, a disease can be an underlying cause of the pain. If you’re sure that it’s chronic pain you’re dealing with, keep reading to find a few tips on how you can make this condition easier to live with.
Learn Your Triggers
Learning as much as you can about what the causes and triggers of your chronic pain are can make it more manageable. As mentioned above, understanding the cause of your pain could lead to better coping mechanisms. For example, if your chronic pain was caused by a knee injury, your pain may be triggered when you go on a hiking trip with your friends. You could then make an effort to take regular breaks if you’ll be walking for a while.
For some people, chronic pain is heightened when they encounter stressful situations. This could be because stress can influence the way you experience pain. Thus, when you’re able to identify your triggers, you can develop strategies to help you manage them. An example would be you getting stressed every time finals come around. To avoid your chronic pain becoming heightened, be more mindful and take regular breaks as a way of eliminating stress and anxiety.
While you’d probably rather be painting the town red with friends than learning about your chronic pain triggers, it could make life easier for you.
Try Natural Remedies for Pain
Another tip that could help you as a twenty-something with chronic pain is finding natural remedies to manage your condition. Not only could some be effective for tackling pain but they could also be cost-effective if you’re a twenty-something year old in a budget.
When you exercise, you’re maintaining your aerobic condition and this is said to improve chronic pain. This is because working out helps your body produce endorphins and hormones which are said to improve your pain threshold. Endorphins, in particular, can change how you perceive pain as they interact with your brain’s receptors.
Try simple exercises which could be playing tennis with your friends a few times a week or going for a swim. However, if you feel as though you’re in too much pain to exercise, it may be best to start slowly and not put too much pressure on your body. Also, check in with a health professional to be sure it won’t worsen your condition.
Did you know that herbs could help you manage your pain? You may even be surprised to know that some you come across regularly could give you some relief. For instance, ginger can be used as both an anti-inflammatory and a natural pain reliever. The good thing about herbs is that many can be included in your food as part of a healthy diet. Eating the right foods and avoiding junk can help to reduce inflammation which as mentioned above, can trigger chronic pain.
Other herbal remedies worth trying are willow bark, which could help joint and muscle pain and the devil’s claw could be useful for lower back pain.
For many centuries, acupuncture has been used to help treat chronic pain. If it isn’t something you’ve thought about doing before, perhaps consider it now. Research from an international team of experts found that acupuncture helped relieve pain by about 50%.
In case you don’t know much about acupuncture, a thin needle is inserted through the skin at different points around your body. This is done to help correct any imbalances in the energy flow throughout your body. In more technical terms, research has found that it helps pain by impacting your immune system, hormone levels or neurotransmitters.
An acupuncture session and consultation could cost from $75 to $95 which can be somewhat pricey if you’re a student or not in steady employment. See if you can get it covered by insurance or your family can support you getting treatment.
Consider Prescription Drugs
Sometimes, when you’re experiencing pain, your next instinct is to use painkillers for relief. They can be an effective way of dealing with chronic pain and may even be suggested by healthcare professionals. In some cases, you may find that you’re being encouraged to rely less on painkillers. This is because although they can be a very helpful option, they can also become addictive.
In the case that you are addicted to opioids, you may want to speak to your doctor as they can offer help. They could administer a drug like suboxone which is used to treat and lessen opioid addiction.
If you are ever in danger of overdosing, don’t be afraid to seek medical assistance as it could save your life. The Good Samaritan Law, which is on the books in 39 states, should give you a level of protection so that you and medical assistants like nurses aren’t arrested for possession.
Educate Your Loved Ones
A final tip to help you manage chronic pain in your 20s is to educate your friends and family. Going through chronic pain can be an isolating experience, especially when nobody around you goes through the same.
To ensure it doesn’t have detrimental effects on your social life and relationships, share your triggers with them. This means when your friends invite you to do fun things like go to concerts or head out for a night at the club, you should explain how it could impact your chronic pain. By doing this, you’re giving them an opportunity to support you even though they may not fully understand what you’re going through.
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