Over 1.5 billion people live with chronic pain across the globe…
1.5 billion…just take a minute to think about that….
That is more than the number of people who live in the USA, UK, Australia & Canada combined….
A lot more!
Even more, people live with chronic pain than live in China!
With so many people living with chronic pain it is definitely fair to say it is an epidemic….
Pain is Big Business
The pain epidemic is big business…the global market for pain management medication & devices was valued at $36.6 billion in 2014 & is predicted to rise to $44.3 billion in 2020.
Medications play a very important role in pain management…
Medication can deliver much-needed relief…for a while…
But medication doesn’t address the underlying cause of the pain….it just disguises the sensation.
Pain relieving drugs come with a whole bunch of nasty side effects…from nausea & constipation to poor concentration & brain fog…
Pain relieving drugs are also dangerous…
Long-term use of opioids can lead to tolerance & addiction…
Scientific studies have also found that high doses of Ibuprofen more than doubled the risk of a heart attack or major heart problem.
The frightening thing is prescription drugs can be dangerous.
It is estimated that in Australia in 2015 there were 689 deaths from an accidental overdose of pain medication…that is worse than the death toll on the roads…
and in America, approximately 40 people die from unintentionally overdosing on prescription opioids every day.
That is thousands of lives tragically cut short & loved ones left heartbroken.
There is a better way to deal with constant pain!
Deal with Constant Pain Naturally
It is only natural that people want to reduce their reliance on pain medication…and they need a viable alternative… but what?
It is possible to control, reduce & even eliminate pain naturally….
More & more people are actively looking for a better way to manage their pain.
There is growing evidence that patients that take an active role in their health experience better health outcomes and a better healthcare experience.
So more & more people are stepping up, getting involved & taking an active role in their own health
There is no one size fits all solution to chronic pain…we all have different conditions, strengths, weaknesses…
Learning, implementing & practising a variety of strategies is generally the best approach…
So…how do you know what’s likely to work?
Well…when in doubt it is always helpful to go back to the science & look for evidence-based strategies that are proven to help people.
It is now widely accepted that the successful treatment of most conditions including chronic pain requires a holistic approach…healing for
Body, mind & social well-being
Let me share with you a wonderful true story of Lois (not her real name but a very real story).
Lois was in agony & bedridden with lower back pain…she couldn’t work or help out around the house, she couldn’t play with her kids & was feeling thoroughly depressed…
Within 6 weeks Lois was up & about, back to work part-time & feeling confident & happy…
Yep…you guessed it, Lois had taken a holistic approach & learned strategies to manage her…
Body, mind & social well-being
So body, mind & social well-being; that is a whole lot of things to concentrate on…where do you even start?
We will take you through our 3-part strategy to start to manage your pain naturally.
1. Know the Science of Pain
Historically doctors & health professionals didn’t teach people about the science of pain because they thought you wouldn’t understand.
We know that is simply not true.
The cornerstone of modern treatment of chronic pain is now – pain science education.
Through learning the science of pain people are empowered with an understanding of the physiology of what is happening in their bodies every time they feel pain….
and most importantly what they can do to control, reduce & eliminate that pain.
If you would like to know more about the science of pain you might like to watch our FREE 5-minute pain master class.
2. Understand what areas of your body, mind & social well-being are impacting on your pain
Chronic pain can impact on many areas of a person’s life & cause a wide variety of additional suffering…
Pain can affect you physically in many ways beyond just the sensation of pain such as fatigue, loss of fitness, weight gain (or loss), poor sleep & nasty side effects from medication…to name just a few.
Chronic pain goes hand in hand with stress, anxiety & depression. Chronic pain can leave even the most stable of people feeling mentally & emotionally fragile.
Living with chronic pain also has a huge impact on the environment we live in…
Many people struggle to socialise, are unable to work, or help out in the same way at home. This can impact on relationships with friends, colleagues & families. Check out our tips for improving communications at home.
Pain has a two-way effect
The impacts of pain have a two-way effect… just as pain impacts on many areas of your life those impacts can, in turn, affect your pain…
Have you ever noticed that your pain feels worse when you are stressed, anxious or sad?
Chemicals your body produces when you experience these emotions such as cortisol & adrenalin also heighten your experience of pain.
Similarly, body chemicals released when we are happy or relaxed also reduce the sensation of pain.
If you would like to find out more about the body’s pain-relieving chemicals check out our 5-minute pain master class.
3. Learn evidence-based strategies to deal with constant pain naturally
We now know that people who take an active part in their own health generally obtain the best health outcomes.
The rise in popularity of pain management programs demonstrates this.
Chronic pain charities such as the Australian Pain Management Association promote pain management programs to their members as they are proven to:
‘reduce the disability & distress caused by chronic pain by teaching physical, cognitive & practical techniques required to improve quality of life.’
There is a whole raft of strategies that you can apply to take control of your health – there is no one size fits all solution.
Look at the strategies that are supported by science & have been proven to help people…such as activity pacing, relaxation & mindfulness.
Click here to access our 3 Minute Mindfulness Guide for People living with Pain.
So if you are determined to deal with constant pain naturally…
Where is the best place to start?
1) Speak to a health professional… your doctor or a rehab provider about a holistic approach to managing your pain.
2) Get in touch with professional bodies & organisations that support people living with chronic pain…we have listed a couple of really great organisations below:
- Australia – Pain Australia
- UK – Pain Support
- USA – American Chronic Pain Association
- New Zealand – Pain Action in NZ
- Canada – People in Pain Network
3) Join a support group in person– for many people living with chronic pain, getting in touch with a group of people to share difficulties & successes is an incredibly worthwhile & rewarding experience….your local pain management organisation can often put you in touch with a group in your area
4) Join an online support group – There are a huge number of online support groups for people living with chronic pain….just type chronic pain or your condition into the search bar on Facebook. You might be surprised how specialised these support groups can be. If you live remotely or pain has reduced your mobility you may find great comfort in joining a supportive & welcoming online community of people based on shared experience. You can join our wonderful Facebook group here.
5) Look for a self-directed program – the Control My Pain Project is a 6-week self-directed course that covers the very best evidence-based strategies to help people take control of their pain naturally…if you would like more information just click the link here.
For people living with chronic pain, medication provides much-needed relief but also comes with a whole bunch of nasty side-effects. It is possible to reduce your reliance on pain medication, take control, reduce & even eliminate pain naturally. Starting out with a solid, science-based strategy & a supportive community of peers you can deal with constant pain naturally.