Why Every Chronic Pain Sufferer Should Keep a Journal
If you have chronic pain, whether from a previous injury or an illness like arthritis, you know how difficult it can be to manage on a daily basis. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do. One thing that many doctors recommend is keeping a journal. Here are some reasons why you should consider having a journal.
It Can Help You Find Your Pain Triggers
This is one of the most important reasons you should have a journal if you suffer from chronic pain. For many people, the pain isn’t just random, but is often triggered by something. This will depend on the source of the pain, whether you have it from a medical condition like fibromyalgia or arthritis, or if it is related to a previous injury. However, you need to know why the pain occurs at certain times or why it becomes more severe.
You can start journaling every time you experience pain, and note what you were doing or eating before then. You might find that certain foods trigger your Crohn’s pain, or that your arthritis acts up in certain weather conditions or while standing for too long. Eventually, knowing your triggers can help you reduce them, which then helps with the long-term pain management.
Journaling Helps to Distract You
You might also be in need of a distraction when the pain gets bad. Some type of chronic pain can be managed, but other types just need to be dealt with. You will often be told to just distract yourself and focus on something else until the pain subsides, but this is easier said than done. A good method to use is to write in your journal. You can write down anything you want, from what you did that day, to making a list of your goals and dreams. Use it as a way to channel your creative energy and try to keep your mind preoccupied, even if just for a few minutes.
You Are Able to Record Diet and Exercise
Both diet and exercise can help with certain types of pain, such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. What you eat makes a large impact, and inflammatory foods can lead to a major flare-up. By recording what you eat every day and how much you exercise, you can track what it is that is leading to the pain, or what activities help to prevent flare-ups.