This site is based on personal experience and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Pain comes in two forms:
Acute Pain – Hurts after an injury, accident or surgery. After the healing is done, the pain is gone and does not easily come to mind again. Examples: broken arm, paper cut, headache.
Chronic Pain – Remains a prominent feature of everyday life after the initial healing has stopped. Can be debilitating and is often not visible to others. Life changing experience.
Dealing with pain on a long term basis requires many strategies which may not work for everyone. Combining professional healthcare with the experience of others may help if you find yourself dealing with pain on a daily basis.
Following a long route I ended up at a Pain Management Group where other long term pain suffers met for discussion and comparison. Despite my initial reluctance, there have been positive outcomes from the eight week program.
One of the outcomes was that people from a variety of backgrounds have different but similar experiences at living with pain on a daily basis. Somedays are better than others, but the more knowledge you have, the more good days you should have.
Some things which have proved helpful:
Pacing your activities
Noticing your familiar thought patterns
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Surgery is one of the most delicate experiences a person can undergo. It is never something to take lightly as it opens the inside of the body to all sorts of potential problems.
Often, the sugical procedure can be an attempt to alleviate an underlying problem which has taken many months to diagnose. Sometimes acute intervention may be required such as when the appendix has become dangerously inflamed or following an accident.
On commenter asked the following:
I had umbilical hernia repair redone, The stitches got torn and were poking me so the Dr. took them out and re-stitched usind dissolvable stitches this time. It has been 4 wks since surgery, I am still in chronic pain.
I was in daily pain for 4 weeks before the surgery and have been thru catscans and the whole diagnosing process until the Dr. came to the conclusion of re-doing initila hernia surgery.
Anyway, the pain has taken over my life. I don”t know how long your body can handle daily use of pain killers and advil. Is the pain ever going to go away? Am I healing properly? Did I tear the stitches again. Is this normal? HOW do I deal with daily abdominal pain around surgery area?
The body really is amazing in it’s ability to heal, but often pain following surgery can arise from a few factors:
Infection – the number one suspect for causing irritation and post-op pain
Regular changing of dressings – whether or not you can see or smell a problem, clean dressings are essential
Not enough rest / too much activity directly after surgery – often people don’t give their body enough time to recover
Skilled surigcal stitches normally provide the best current technique to help your body heal, subsequent trauma can lead to secondary complications
You are dealing with pain using pain killers / analgesics and at least one of which is ‘over the counter’ these may be at the recommendation of your health professional. Some combinations of pain killers can help in certain circumstances, while they may cause other side effects – such as aspirin leading to potential bleeding after surgery.
If you are certain you do not have a secondary infection and you are keeping your wound clean, it may just be a process of time. Four weeks of constant pain does not sound ideal, but the stomach area has a lot of work to do as it helps support your back.
If there is any excessive redness or foul smell coming from the area of your stitches, you would probably be best to revisit you health professional.
One simple remedy for alleviating external infection is to bathe the suspect area using a dilute solution of soda crystals / washing soda. This is caustic (which means it can burn the skin) and should be used in limited quantities and thoroughly rinsed afterwards. Around 2 tablespoons for a full bath is sufficient. As this is a type of salt – it will probably sting initially, but should subside after a short time, if this stinging continues for more than a few minutes – STOP and rinse the area clean. If the redness / smell has not reduced after 24 hours, definitely return to professional care, if it has consider a second treatment, remembering to rinse with clean water afterwards.
Your hernia operation can take a while to fully heal, but four weeks of constant acute pain. If you can, try to ease back on the pain killers and monitor how much you are taking, when and if there are any extra reasons why – such as following a trip to the toilet. Give yourself a target of revisiting your doctor with this specific information which can help identify and find an effective remedy.
My husband, a disabled vet, has really bad knees. He is in very bad pain, and spends alot of time on his feet at work. We are working with the VA to get a double knee replacement (which was recommended over 15 years ago and he's put it off) In the mean time, though, his pain is worse every day. He has some pain medications (several different ones), but doesn't want to just live on them all the time, so he uses them very sparingly. He comes home from work every day and just keeps ice packs on his knees to numb them until he has to get up and go again the next day. It breaks my heart to see him so miserable. Are there any effective ways other than more drugs to help him until he can get the medical intervention that he needs? Preferably something we can do at home.
By the way, he is only 39 years old, and we have 3 young children that he wants to be able to be active with.
That sounds like a very severe case, I hope he gets approved soon. My husband wrecked his knees from playing so many sports, and he uses MSM – it's a nutritional supplement. He may need surgery too, but we're trying to put it off as long as necessary. He says the MSM makes a difference and he relies on taking it every day. It takes a few weeks to build up in the body. He can also try Joint Joice, after about a month that helps. Joint Juice has shellfish ingredients in it, so don't take it if he's allergic to shellfish.
MSM is a naturally-occurring compound found in green plants, grains, and milk. Commercially MSM is made from dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and contributes sulphur to some proteins. Typically MSM is used for osteoarthritis, alone or in combination with glucosamine. Research suggests that a MSM-glucosamine combination can reduce some symptoms of osteoarthritis such as pain and swelling, and improve joint function.
I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) also referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). I'm 14 (almost 15), and have had this very painful disease for a little over a year and a half now, and I guess you could say that I'm having a little trouble dealing with my pain now. I used to be a competitive figure skater, and that has been pretty much taken from me so I deal with depression plus the pain. I have a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) which helps with a lot of my pain, but because of many of my unique other problems like my scarring have made my SCS hard to get it to work so it gives me maximum relief. I've tried medications (which don't do much), blocks, and some pain manegment mental type things, but what helps you with your chronic pain?
Most of the time on a pain scale of 1-10 I'm at least a 6, and up to a 10, but avearge probabaly a 7 or 8.
I also do know a lot about what I have, and I do work with a pain specalist who has been able to help me, but right now I guess I'm kind of stuck in the middle of another surgery, my parents are trying to switch insurance compaines so that my next surgeries (if any) will be covered (our current company has denied my most current surgeries and treatment even though they really should be paying), so basically I'm trying to figure out if there are any other ways that other people get through their pain…by the way CRPS/RSD is a neurological condition.
Most of the time on a pain scale of 1-10 I'm at least a 6, and up to a 10, but avearge probabaly a 7 or 8.
I also do know a lot about what I have, and I do work with pain specalists who has been able to help me, but right now I guess I'm kind of stuck in the middle of another surgery, my parents are trying to switch insurance compaines so that my next surgeries (if any) will be covered (our current company has denied my most current surgeries and treatment even though they really should be paying), so basically I'm trying to figure out if there are any other ways that other people get through their pain…by the way CRPS/RSD is a neurological condition. I did have an "injury" to the area which caused my CRPS/RSD, I had a knee surgery in which my body reacted badly to, and I got my CRPS/RSD.
I do have a lab which I do spend a lot of time with and she does help me with my pain…the only thing is that she obvioulsy doesn't understand that when she rubs up against my leg that it causes me pain. My RSD/CRPS is in my right leg. I have looked into the morpihne pumps, but have decided that they probalby wouldn't work for me because medications make me very sick, and they don't usually work very well for my type of pain…thanks for all of your answers so far.
First of all, let me commend you on your obvious intelligence in your well thought out question. At 14 years old, you seem to have a true gift for writing. Good question..
Chronic Pain is certainly a difficult thing to deal with. I will not go into my own aches and pains here, so I don't bore you to sleep. But you ask…how do those of use that deal with it 24/7, handle our pain?
One of the most important things to help alleviate MY pain, is knowing my daily limits. Not overdoing, but yet; making sure that I get the proper exercise. It's true what they say, "If you don't use those muscles, you'll lose them."
I make sure that I take my pain medication on a consistent schedule, because if I don't, the pain is too great for ANY medication to help.
I use relaxation techiniques to help deal with my discomfort. This helps a great deal. Very hard to do though, once the pain gets a grip on you. But you can do it.
Massage, in my case, has helped quite alot. This also helps my body release their natural endorphins so I don't need as much pain medication, that I would otherwise.
Does consistent pain cause depression? You bet it does. How do I relieve this symptom? I try to focus on the positives in my life. The most important one…being ALIVE. Sure pain is a constant companion, but a positive attitude gets me through the most difficult times…
I sincerely hope for the best for you. You are dealing with alot, at such a young age. I hope that you can get that pain under control, so we may see you return to figure skating and possibly see you in the next Olympics. Best of luck…and hang in there. You are NOT alone.
I feel so bad for my sister.
She has chronic pain very very badly.
I feel so bad for her.
She takes her pain meds, but most of the time she is angry, frustrated and sad.
She lashes out at family quite often.
She says hurtful things to the family, but none of us say anything because we know she is so sick, and in pain.
She refusus counselling.
What can the family do to make things better ?
I hope she doesn't read this because I love her and I don't want to hurt her feelings…
I have chronic pain as well, and I've also lashed out at my family. We know we are doing it. If she's in extreme pain, she's going to have to learn to leave the room when she's like that. If she's always angry, frustrated and sad then perhaps get some better meds and also think about counseling.
Chronic pain is extremely hard to go through. I know I don't just have to worry about daily stresses, but also if my pain is going to make me unable to do anything. It has the power to make you helpless and just get so frustrating that you can't take it. It weighs down on your shoulders, and for awhile can just make you stop being yourself.
I think she's having trouble dealing with it. But it's the wrong thing for you guys to just let your lash out. My family had to deal with me, and I had to learn that I can't take out my pain on them. It isn't that she means to, at least I don't believe so, things just get more annoying easier when you are in tons of pain. If you've ever had extreme cramps, and then got annoyed easily, amplify it to the highest degree you can think of and you'll see how hard it is to walk around with.
Counseling will help, but you can't lead a horse to water. If she wants to live her life letting her pain control her, then that's her choice. But unless she wants to better herself and live her life as her, you guys need to stop letting her step on you.
I suffer chronic pain. It impairs my ability to think and limits my ability to work. It saddens me to think about how much more I could do, how much more I could have done with my life, if not for the pain. I often times feel like life is passing me by. Anyone have any advice on how I can feel that my life is meaningful and worthwhile, despite my limitations?
I suffer chronic, severe pain and contiplated, not tried, taking my own life just to get some relief.
I was miserable and a grumpy cow. My poor son got the brunt of my bad moods when my pain hit it's peaks.
I have pain every time I eat, drink or swallow sliva, so my pain is constant. It is like someone ripping my chest apart. Pain through to my back, down my arm and into my jaw.
I was so angry for so long having to bear this and felt so lonely as no one else could understand my pain.
i too felt as if life was passing me by because I spent so much time in hospital. Weeks on end or laying on the couch in unbearable pain.
My story is on a website www.tamethepain.com.au wendy's story that tells you how I turned my life around and beat my pain. And started loving life again.
My advice to you is find something you really enjoy that you can do. I don't know what's caused your pain, but you may need to look for new adventures and interests.
Do some volunteer work. You will not only give yourself that high of helping someone, but make them feel better about themselves also.
It's so hard to pull yourself up out of yourt pain and find meaning in every day. But you can do it. Just like you have asked for help here. So that shows you have the will not to let pain beat you and run your life.
Go read my story. It may inspire you. It has many other people.
Now when I get pain I find other things to help me deal with it.
I use 800mg Ibuprofen as needed for daily pain.
On occasion I’ll use LorTab (hydrocodone) for emergent pain and to aid sleep on nights when it just won’t let me be. I have legal scripts for these from my physician.
But, mostly, I have developed a high pain tolerance, and prefer not to use drugs unless absolutely needed.
I also have several physical therapy excersizes that help strengthen areas to releive the cause of pain, rather than treating only the symptoms.
If you block the pain altogether, you run the risk of ignoring it and doing more damage. This can lead to even more pain in the long run. Pain is a signal that something is wrong. If you can treat what’s wrong, the symptoms will go away with the condition.
I am experiencing fibromyalgia pain and was looking for alternatives to the full on treatments my doctor has advised might be next.
He is happy that I try other things, but would like me to keep a journal about what I am trying so it won’t interfere with his next options. I was wondering if there was anything I might be able to eat which could help?
1. Magnesium and Malic Acid for muscle pain
2. Fish oil 3000mg daily
3. Sleep at the same time every night
4. Mild exercise is a must along with stretching
5. Massage therapy and Chiropractic care
6. Eliminate simple carbs, processed foods and eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean meat. Eliminate vegetable oils.
7. Reduce stress by meditation, yoga, stretching, reading
8. Reduce corn and wheat in your diet and replace them with green leafy vegetables
Protracted Peritonitis 11 years ago left extensive scarring of female ab tissue. Following surgery, we now have a clearer diagnosis but no cure. We visit UKAdhesionSoc website. Would like to hear of simple, natural activities, treatments, therapies that may help with the pain etc.
This is a long term health problem and yes we are working with the NHS hospital and local GP. Interested in hearing from women who have had experience in using alternative therapies for this condition.
There is a drug called gabapentin which is good for nerve pain. I have seen it used with patients who have had a number of abdominal surgeries with good effect
I know that one answer is that people who don't have chronic pain can never fully understand, but I'd still like to know if there is some way to explain it to others, some way to make people understand why those of us in chronic pain can't be expected to function "normally." Anybody have any suggestions, or is there a web site with tips on how to explain to significant others, loved ones, family members, chronic pain and its effects, and how to deal with people in chronic pain ?
Here is a site that may help.
Read the "you look so good" part. It is not by any means going to change the pre-conceived ideas that people have, but maybe you can get through to someone. It's not easy I l know! You might look for a support group as well on line or local, for the condition you live with that causes the pain. Still looking for the best answer to your question myself!