Everything changed that day. You were making your way to your office when, out of nowhere, you slipped on an over-waxed floor and fell flat on your back. With no warning signs in the vicinity, there was no way you could have known about the danger that awaited you. Even in the subsequent ambulance ride to the hospital, you were cognizant enough to realize that something was seriously wrong. Deep down, you knew that things would never be the same. After arriving in the E.R. and having the situation assessed, the attending physician’s diagnosis confirmed this.

Having suffered severe nerve damage, you’ve found yourself unable to work and spend your days in the throes of chronic pain. Sure, your employer is covering your medical bills and paying you workers’ comp, but at the moment, money is the least of your worries. The thought of spending the rest of your life at the mercy of this relentless pain is simply too much to bear. How could one unexpected fall alter your quality of life so dramatically? Well, don’t lose hope just yet. There are a number of ways for chronic pain sufferers to cope with their affliction and reclaim their lives. So if chronic pain has you in its grip, consider the following options.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Regardless of how much pain you happen to be in, having a relaxed mind can make the discomfort more manageable. By starting and ending each day with 10 minutes to half an hour of breathing exercises, you can effectively clear your mind of all the mental clutter created by chronic pain. The exact mechanics vary from technique to technique, but most deep breathing exercises require you to sit upright or lay flat on your back while calmly breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Furthermore, on days when the pain feels particularly unbearable, you can benefit from performing these exercises at various points throughout the day.

Keeping an Active Mind

When dealing with chronic pain, it’s imperative that you provide your mind with ample distractions. Having an active mind ensures that less brainpower is devoted to focusing on your ever-present discomfort. If you’re still able to work, reporting to a job every day is a surefire way to distract yourself for eight full hours. Alternatively, interesting books, movies and television programs can provide entertaining distractions to homebound chronic pain sufferers. Engaging in creative endeavors is another effective form of distraction, so if you’re itching to write that novel or paint that portrait, there’s no time like the present.

Physical Therapy

Depending on the type of chronic pain from which you suffer, physical therapy may be able to reduce your discomfort. Sufferers can find relief from certain forms of chronic pain by regularly engaging in various stretches and taking part in assorted fitness activities. To ensure that you’re able to exercise in a safe, controlled environment, visit a local pain management center several times a week. There, you’ll find a wide array of physical therapists and pain management experts who will be able to recommend and oversee the appropriate exercise regimen for your particular case of chronic pain.

Few things are more physically and psychologically draining than living with chronic pain. However, by taking steps to distract yourself from the pain and reduce your discomfort, you’ll be able to reclaim your life in a timely manner.

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