If you live with chronic pain, you’re probably all too familiar with chronic pain flare up days – when the pain that you already live with on a daily basis intensifies and completely levels you.
In order to help minimize bad flares, it’s helpful to know what triggers your physical symptoms. These can vary from person to person.
When the weather changes to an extreme, whether from atmospheric changes or temperature fluctuations, it can affect certain types of chronic pain. This is especially true when your pain is related to your joints, such as with arthritis or fibromyalgia. If you start to keep a pain journal and record everything that occurred on the days when you had a flare-up, you might notice that your neck or knees hurt a lot worse when it rains or gets extremely cold. For others, extreme heat can trigger symptoms. Journaling can help you see what weather changes might be triggering you and help you to prepare for them in the future.
High Levels of Stress
Everyone experiences stress, and for moms, it’s an unavoidable fact of life. It doesn’t seem fair but we’ve got to learn how to manage it. No matter what chronic condition you’re living with, stress will probably impact your pain levels and cause flare-ups. But the good news is that with while we can’t eliminate stress completely, effective stress relief methods can help to reduce chronic pain.
For women, a big flare trigger for chronic pain might be as a result of fluctuating hormonal levels throughout the month. This might be related to PMS, where your pain is worse when you are about to start your period, or you might be experiencing more pain as you head toward menopause. This is yet another reason to keep a pain journal, since it helps you to notice these patterns. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be for these potential triggers.
Eating inflammatory foods such as refined carbs, and sugar can increase symptoms for many people. Others might need to eliminate dairy and gluten. They key is to know yourself and track your symptoms. Again, a journal is going to be helpful here to track your symptoms.
Despite your best intentions, chronic pain flare ups can happen at any time. If you’re having a bad day, week or month…just step back and regroup. Think about what absolutely has to get done and let the rest go for now. If you need to spend a few days in bed, that’s perfectly fine. Enlist your family to help, if possible. Keep meals simple. Don’t take on any additional responsibilities. Whatever nourishes your soul…just do it. Binge on Netflix, journal, listen to music that you love, take a long bath or spend some time outside.
How do you like to regroup during a chronic pain flare up?