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The Danger of Waiting to Address Pain

It doesn’t matter if you combat chronic pain from psoriatic arthritis naturally, alternatively, or pharmaceutically. Waiting to address pain is a bad idea.

Not reacting to early signs of pain

I am just as guilty as any other chronic pain patient of not addressing pains when I first notice their presence. Part of me used to think that I had to “earn” my pain pill. Yes, you read that correctly. Although I no longer treat pain pharmaceutically, opioids were what I was prescribed and used to reduce pain from my chronic illnesses for a decade. Even back then, before the opioid hysteria, friends and family didn’t hold back their disapproval.

Judgements around managing pain

Sadly, not much has changed in the past seven years of treating pain naturally and alternatively. There is still the judgment of you shouldn’t take anything besides Tylenol for pain relief unless your pain is so bad that you need to be admitted to a hospital. They make us believe we are warriors for pushing through pain or pretending that it isn’t as bad as it is.

The snowball effect

The problem with pushing through pain or ignoring it is that it creates a snowball effect. For example, if I ignore my spine when I first feel twinges of swelling around it, it can and has led to new and/or increased pain throughout the rest of my body. The most common and disturbing consequence is when it leads to a migraine so intense that it feels like my brain is being stabbed by thousands of swords, the inability to open my eyes, blurred vision when I can open them, and loss of speech.

The physical effects of ignoring pain

Many moons ago, ignoring pain when it began landed me in the hospital for four days because my body was exhibiting stroke-like symptoms. Another time, waiting to tend to a pain in my neck resulted in the freezing up of the surrounding muscles. I could not move my neck and had to spend months on the sofa resting my neck and back muscles. That was enough for me to realize that I had to stop worrying about what others thought and start paying more attention to the signals my body was sending me.

Buried alive

After a while, that snowball becomes an avalanche.

Not only does ignoring a pain when it first presents itself create more problems, it creates so many that no one, not even our doctors know where to begin. My avalanche hit in 2011. Even though I had done fairly well at not allowing my pain to snowball for a few years, all it took was not having access to what I needed to undo all of my hard work.

I had recently moved to California and my new doctor was not willing to prescribe a proper amount of pain medication. Reducing ridiculously high amounts of pain on a daily basis was no longer an option. At most my doctor would only prescribe enough pain medication for two-four days out of the month. I don’t have to ask you to imagine what that is like, because I know many of you are currently living the same nightmare.

The result of their fear to treat a chronic pain patient was a pain so intense that I couldn’t stand, sit, or walk for more than 5 minutes without passing out from blinding migraines and pain.

Becoming a goalie

The goal is to avoid reaching the point of going to a hospital. It’s to fight for our rights to effective pain relief, whether it be pharmaceutical, natural, or alternative medicine. It’s to listen to everything my body is telling me, then addressing its needs. Most importantly, it’s not feeling ashamed for being proactive.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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