Chronic pain is already difficult to deal with without the circumstances of Covid-19, but add in having to deal with chronic pain during a lockdown and it becomes even harder to manage.
Chronic pain is something that 1 in 5 Australians face. Symptoms include muscle aches, headaches, joint pain and sharp pain in different areas of your body. But unlike normal pain, chronic pain is regularly faced by those who suffer from it and it impacts their everyday lives.
Here are some helpful tips on managing chronic pain during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
Ease into new routines
There are many ways to implement methods into your lockdown routines to ensure that you are providing pain relief for yourself during these times. The most important thing to consider is to not burn yourself out and create more pain for yourself. During a lockdown we may find ourselves doing less physical activities, on our computers and sitting down more. So, ensure that you are slowly leading into a routine and allow the necessary breaks for yourself so that you do not upset your body. This is important for stretching and working out routines, knowing your body’s limits and understanding that during lockdown and in general your body needs to rest and recover during these activities.
Try doing some light yoga
If your space is small with little room to do workout routines, opt for yoga to both move your body and relax it as well. Relaxing in your home environment is helpful when dealing with chronic pain because it relaxes the muscles in your body that may be stiff and contribute to your pain. Create a calming environment for yourself in your home during lockdown to help manage your chronic pain by letting more natural light in, possibly buying some house plants and clearing clutter when you can.
Find support communities online
A different way to manage chronic pain within lockdown is to join online communities that have similar experiences to you, finding facebook groups and forums with people who understand what it is like to suffer with chronic pain. This can be beneficial to managing chronic pain during lockdown because it reminds you that there are people facing similar things, and this can be less isolating during the lockdown where you may not be able to see friends and family. Support with lockdown and when dealing with chronic pain will help with managing both circumstances, as these are people who understand what they are both like because they are dealing with the same thing.
Connect with a professional
Most importantly, especially during Covid-19, ensure that you are connected to a doctor that you can share your plans on managing chronic pain with as they can monitor your wellbeing and create a holistic pain management program specifically for you that contributes to long term pain relief. Dr. Peter Dobie is a chronic fatigue doctor in Sydney who specialises in chronic illnesses, particularly chronic fatigue syndrome. Similarly to chronic pain, chronic fatigue is when people deal with long term issues of fatigue that spans for long periods of time. Symptoms of chronic fatigue also include headaches, muscle and joint pain, muscle weakness, impaired memory and exhaustion.
When treating chronic fatigue, similar activities and routines can be implemented to help manage these illnesses during lockdown and it is important to make sure that you take the necessary steps to manage these whilst also dealing with the impacts of Covid-19. Know that you are not alone, and that there are people ready to support you.