After your injury, you find yourself dealing with chronic pain. Some days are better than others, but it’s always there. It becomes a constant presence in your life. That injury — whether it came from a car accident, a workplace accident or something else entirely — just will not fully heal. The pain will not end.
At first, you feel optimistic. You get medical care. You look into treatment options. You figure that it will just take time. You are willing to put in the work.
As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, though, your optimism starts to fade. You begin feeling depressed. You find yourself unable to work and unable to enjoy your hobbies. Simple things like climbing out of bed in the morning become a chore that you dread. How long are you going to have to deal with this pain? How do you cope with that?
1. Get enough rest
Rest is critical for your body to heal. Pain lingers when you try to rush back. You can make injuries worse. Set up a schedule that prioritizes rest so that you give your body a chance to improve. Reducing stress and increasing opportunities for rest can also help you deal with the mental side of the issue, with the anxiety and even depression it can bring on.
2. Stay active
At the same time that you focus on rest, do not completely cut out all physical activity. You may need to put it on hold initially after the accident, but staying active can help with chronic pain. Understand your limits, but work up to them. Go for walks. Lift weights. Ride bikes. Find activities that keep you in good shape without risking further injury.
3. Refuse to become a prisoner
Many people feel like their pain makes them a prisoner. This can make you depressed. You feel like you can’t enjoy life or do what you want with your time. It’s confining. You must refuse to accept this mindset. That’s why safe, moderate exercise is so helpful. It shows you just what you can still do and it puts you in control.
4. Do not let chronic pain define you
Pain is a part of your life. It is not who you are. It does not make you a bad employee or a bad student or a bad parent. It does not mean you cannot chase your goals and aspirations. It is just something you must deal with moving forward. Accept the struggle, own the pain and do not let it take over your life.
As you deal with chronic pain, it is also important to make sure you know just what legal options you may have to seek financial compensation.