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Coping With Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Simple Ways to Cope With Chronic Nerve Pain

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Updated April 17, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Learning to live with chronic pain is never easy. This can especially be true when that diagnosis is chronic nerve pain, a form that is notoriously difficult to treat.

Having chronic nerve pain does not have to take away your quality of life. Today, there are many medications and treatments available to help you get your pain under control. However, if you still find it difficult to cope with your chronic nerve pain, there are a few simple things you can try.

Coping With Chronic Nerve Pain – Steps You Can Take

  • Seek out peers. Peers not only understand your situation, they can also share their own coping mechanisms with you. Sometimes, a peer can give you an idea that you never had considered. At the very least, they can be someone to whom you can vent your feelings. Not sure where to start? Check out local or online support groups for your diagnosis, and post to the chronic pain forum.
  • Keep a pain journal. A pain journal is a safe place for you to talk about your pain, especially if you aren’t comfortable sharing those feelings with another person. Sometimes venting your frustrations on paper is enough to make you feel better. You can also document details about your pain in your journal, which can help you recognize trends that increase and/or decrease pain sensations.
  • Practice relaxation. For some people, the tension that results from excessive stress can intensify pain sensations. Of course, living stress free is next to impossible. Learning to relax, however, can help decrease some of that day-to-day tension, which is not only good for your body but also for your mental well-being. Try listening to some peaceful music, soaking in a warm bath or taking a nice stroll.

Coping With Chronic Nerve Pain – When You Need More Help

If you’ve had chronic nerve pain for awhile, you may feel frustrated. Sometimes all of the coping mechanisms in the world aren’t enough. It’s always a good idea to keep up with your doctor visits in order to keep your treatments current. However, there may be times when you need a little more help.

The effects of day-to-day pain can leave people more vulnerable to depression. It’s normal to feel sad from time to time. However, if you notice trends of increased feelings of sadness, or if you start to feel hopelessness, it might be time to seek out a psychiatric consultation. You can talk to your doctor for advice on finding a qualified mental health practitioner.

Source:

National Pain Foundation. Neuropathic Pain: Working With Your Provider. Accessed 2/18/10. http://www.nationalpainfoundation.org/articles/356/working-with-your-provider

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