Dealing with pain and fatigue

Picture of man meditating for pain and fatigue article

For most people, it’s not the chronic condition itself that affects them most. It’s the symptoms — especially pain and fatigue — that come along with it. Pain and fatigue can stop us from doing things, and stop us from enjoying the things that we do. But pain and fatigue may be manageable. There are many ways to address them.

Talk with your healthcare provider about some ways to deal with your pain, which may include:

  • Medications
  • Relaxation
  • Exercise
  • Physical Therapy

Many chronic conditions may cause fatigue. Fatigue isn’t just feeling tired after a hard day’s work. It’s a lack of energy and motivation that may last for hours or all the time. Fatigue may be profoundly disabling.

Here are some things you can do to help reduce fatigue and its impact on your life:

  • Get adequate, regular, and consistent amounts of sleep each night. Many chronic conditions interfere with sleep, and finding ways to get more sleep may even help your overall health
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Be active
  • Learn how to relax. Try yoga or meditation. Breathe deeply and calmly
  • Be aware of how you react to stressful situations and, if necessary, avoid them
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine, and take medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider

Pain and fatigue are not only physical, they can also be emotional. Family and friends may not understand what it’s like for you. They may struggle to deal with how your pain and fatigue affect their own lives. It’s important for families to learn to communicate honestly. Help them understand how every day may be different. Having a rating scale from 1–10 is one way to let them know how bad the pain or fatigue is at the moment.

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