Managing chronic pain means finding ways to make your pain tolerable so you can live your life. You may not be able to get rid of your pain completely, but you can change some things that worsen your pain. These things are called stressors. Some of them may be physical, like the chair you sit in at work. Some may be emotional, like a difficult relationship.
Reducing stress can improve your physical and emotional health. It’s not always easy to reduce stress, but it is easier if you are able to ask your friends and family for help.
First you need to figure out what makes your pain better and what makes it worse. Go ahead and make a list of these things.
Then try to make changes in your home and work to decrease the causes of your back pain. For example, if bending down to pick up heavy pots sends shooting pain down your back, re-arrange your kitchen so that the pots are hanging from above or are stored at waist height.
If your back pain is worse at work, talk to your boss. It may be that your work station is not set up correctly.
Long car rides and getting in and out of the car can be very hard on your back.
These changes around your home could help relieve your back pain:
It is important to have strong relationships that you can depend on when your back pain makes it hard to get through the day.
Take time to build strong friendships at work and outside of work by using caring words and being kind. Give sincere compliments to the people around you. Respect those around you and treat them the way you like to be treated.
If a relationship is causing stress, consider working with a counselor to find ways to resolve conflict and strengthen the relationship
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Inc.
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