People with chronic neck pain or chronic back pain often withdraw from many or even all aspects of their social life. While isolating oneself is natural and necessary during times of sickness, long-term isolation due to suffering from chronic pain can actually make the problem worse. If you’ve been experiencing chronic pain and have noticed that you are less social than before, we’ve outlined a list of what you can do to reverse this problem and live a better, more fulfilling life.
Practice Meditation… Meditation can boost your feelings of wellbeing, which thereby reduce chronic pain and make you naturally more open to socializing with others. Visit your local library or bookstore for books on meditation, or join a club to meet others who are also interested in benefiting from everything that practicing meditation has to offer.
Adopt A Pet… No matter how lousy or lazy you’re feeling, pets will never judge you. In fact, they are always up for snuggling or spending the afternoon lying around the house. When you do feel better and head for the park, having a pet accompany you generally makes for a great conversation starter with other pet lovers and children.
Join A Walking Group… Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all exercise will make your pain worse. Low impact exercise such as walking can actually improve your mood and produce endorphins, which are “feel good” brain chemicals that naturally reduce pain. Walking with a group on a regular basis can also provide a great social outlet, as good conversations and walking often go hand-in-hand. As with beginning any new exercise, do be sure to get medical clearance you’re your doctor or care provider prior to lacing up your sneakers!
Be A Host… Even on days when you don’t feel like exercising, call or text a few friends and host your own game night, book club, or movie night in the comfort of your own home. Who knows, maybe you’ll even decide to do this regularly or others in your group may even take turns playing host! Hanging out regularly with those you enjoy has numerous health benefits. Indeed, we should never underestimate the power of social interaction. Socializing even for an hour or two can boost your spirits instantly, thereby increasing your feeling of wellbeing and helping to reduce pain.
Our goal is for our patients to have the knowledge and resources necessary to overcome chronic pain or at least know enough about their condition and treatment options to live the most comfortable, fulfilling life as possible. For a same-day diagnosis and treatment plan, we invite you to see our Spine Specialists at the Stridewell Clinic. Stridewell Tipsread article