Working as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve realized there are many misconceptions when it comes to chronic pain; understanding it, obtaining compensation for it, and of course, managing it.
So – what exactly is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is usually the result of a previous injury that failed to heal correctly. Sometimes it can take months or even years after the injury to appear.
It is ongoing, daily pain that doesn’t go away.
Because individuals look fine on the outside, others have a hard time believing they are ill; when in reality, they suffer in silence as they go about their daily lives.
If you have chronic pain, you know bad weather often amplifies your pain; making winter one of the most dreaded season for chronic pain sufferers.
Even small shifts in weather can cause your joints to flare up. And although the research is inconclusive as to whether weather affects chronic pain, most sufferers agree that their pain increases during barometric pressure changes.
Now, let me stress this: I am not a doctor and I am not certified to give medical advice in any way. It is always recommended to go through your family doctor to create a pain management plan.
That being said, I’ve sourced the web and came across these tips to help manage your chronic pain this winter:
(Note: Be sure to present these tips to your doctor before making them a part of your ongoing pain management plan)
- Check Your Vitamin D Levels
Low vitamin D levels can be an issue for those with chronic pain, causing bouts of depression, especially during winter when there is less exposure to sunlight.While vitamin D isn’t a replacement for chronic pain treatments, it doesn’t hurt to increase your uptake to relieve seasonal depression and ensure you have the energy to face the challenges winter may present to your body.
- Conserve Your Energy
Every chronic pain sufferer knows their body and knows their limits. It’s vital to be realistic about what you can do on any given day with the level of pain you’re experiencing.Keep note of the weekly tasks ahead of you and break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.Listen to your body, conserve your energy when you need it and don’t overdo it when you know you don’t have it in you.
- Keep Warm
Staying warm is one of the easiest ways to ward off pain, so don’t be afraid to invest in quilts, heating pads and thermal blankets to keep comfortable this winter.If you do have to go out, dress in layers and wear rubber sole boots to prevent wet feet.Investing a remote starter for your car is also a good idea to ensure your car is warm before getting behind the wheel.
- Stay Active
Although it’s important to conserve your energy (as mentioned in tip 2) it’s equally important to engage in weekly exercise to reduce stiffness in the body.Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist to find an exercise regimen you can do at home such as yoga, Pilates or even simple stretches.
- Consider Alternative Therapies
There are several alternative therapies you can try when dealing with chronic pain: Massage therapy, aromatherapy and acupuncture are just a few of the available treatments for those suffering with chronic pain.Every chronic pain sufferer is different, so be sure to discuss any alternative therapies with a healthcare professional before including them in your pain management plan.
Unfortunately, the tests needed to assess chronic pain and ongoing treatment to manage it can quickly become expensive, and may not be covered by OHIP.
If you find yourself overwhelmed, drop me a line.
I’ve worked with many chronic pain victims to make sure their condition is acknowledged and compensated.
Let’s get through this winter–and your chronic pain–together.