Job 34:4 - Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.
A pain flare-up can be brought on by any number of reasons - overextending yourself, experiencing emotional trauma, or environmental factors, just to name a few.
Once a flare-up is on its way, it’s important to recognize it as soon as possible so you can figure out ways to stop it in its tracks because it is serious enough to upset the lives of people who are trying to control chronic pain.
Some of the early physical warning signs of a flare-up include excessive fatigue, pacing, increased pain and tenderness, rocking, tingling or numbness, heart rate increases, activity level drops and warmth in an area.
Pain flare-ups don’t just affect us physically but can also affect our emotional wellbeing. Some warning signs that may come to the surface include becoming easily upset, crying, communication ceasing, withdrawal, fear, being easily irritated, agitation and panic.
It’s important during a flare-up to change what you’re thinking because what you’re thinking will affect what you say to yourself and others. To change your mood change what you’re thinking.
If the loudspeaker inside your mind says, “I can’t take this!”
Try saying, “Don’t panic. It’s going to hurt, but I’m going to be okay.”
Webmd.com in their article, “Understanding Breakthrough Pain and Flare,” discusses the difficulty in finding a cause for a flare-up and tells us that the pain can come on suddenly without warning even if a person is taking medication for chronic pain. It can drop you in your tracks within a few minutes and last thirty to sixty minutes. The article also discusses using short or long-term prescription medication and over-the-counter pain meds.
It’s important that you don’t ignore the warning signs of a flare or you may find yourself in deep pain and anxiety quickly can develop. These are the things that have helped me: talking to myself about the pain, monitoring my breathing to make sure I’m not breathing to fast and slowing down my breathing, reducing stress, using medications, changing positions, using heat or cold, having a cup of tea, laying down for a while, listening to soft music and massage therapy or acupuncture.
Just as the Bible verse above describes, we need to learn to be students of our bodies; to see when you have signs of a flare-up and then doing something about it. Also, talking to God in prayer can help you feel close to God and it will reassure you that you’re not in this alone.
Key words: chronic pain, flare-ups, warning signs, watch your thinking, emotional warning signs, understanding pain
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.