If you’re living with chronic pain, you’re not alone. We are here to discuss the ways to fight the personal & financial costs of chronic pain today.
Approximately 20 percent of adults in the United States experience chronic pain, and the expenses associated with medical bills, medications, adjunct therapies, and hundreds of hours in lost wages add up to a large personal and financial toll. However, chronic pain doesn’t have to rob your wallet along with your quality of life. Here are four ways to fight the costs of chronic pain.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Chronic pain can directly affect your overall health simply by making it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising every day, getting enough sleep, and kicking bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking all become more difficult with the pressure of chronic pain dogging your steps.
It’s harder to get out of bed when every day brings more pain, it’s harder to make healthy food at home instead of ordering out, it’s easier to comfort eat and seek relief in drugs and smoking. However, falling into these habits will only make your chronic pain worse in the long run.
The best way to avoid this is to meet yourself in the middle. Instead of going to the gym everyday to exercise, try doing yoga and basic exercises at home. Instead of seeking comfort in bad habits, set good ones in reading or crafts to give you more to look forward to.
Instead of eating out, make an effort to work with friends and family to plan meals and put together healthy meals that can be refrigerated to avoid daily cooking. By taking the extra effort, you’ll improve your quality of life tremendously while seeking treatment for your pain.
Visit a Pain Management Specialist
Many chronic pain patients waste money on visit after visit with doctors who don’t know how to treat their condition. Your primary doctor is well educated, but in the end you will need to see a specialist. Clinics such as Inland Pain Medicine can cut your medical costs and the amount of time you spend in a doctor’s office by offering targeted treatments that produce real results.
Integrated, holistic therapies can also lower your dependence on medications so that you spend less on prescription drugs. While you may feel you are managing your pain well enough, the only way it will ever go away completely is to treat the root cause directly.
Work From Home
Lost productivity is one of the largest costs of chronic pain, but doing your job from the comfort of home on your own schedule can help you get more work done. If you’re currently employed and struggling to make it to the office every day, talk to your boss about telecommuting.
There are also many careers that allow you to work from home if you’re unemployed or looking for a change. This is especially important for those who have trouble getting themselves up, dressed, and moving around every day as it allows them to do their work in the environment that is most comfortable for them.
Take Advantage of Available Resources
Did you know that you may be eligible for services like disability payments, housing assistance, healthcare and job training? Even with options such as telecommuting available, many who are effectively disabled by their chronic pain need help paying bills and getting other assistance. Contact your local social security office to see what programs and resources are available to help you deal with the cost of your chronic pain.
You may also be eligible for assistance to help with paying off your existing medical debt. Medical debt can be socially and financially crippling for many, and getting rid of that debt is an essential step to creating a stable and normalized life for those suffering from chronic conditions.
Chronic pain can interfere not only with your finances but also with your mental health and social life. It’s important to seek help if you feel depressed, anxious or lonely. Visit a qualified mental health professional, and seek out support groups at your local hospital or community center.
Many with chronic pain aren’t able to treat the root cause directly and feel defeated by their pain and suffer socially as the causes may not be visible to others. That makes it essential to find and maintain an empathetic support system that can help you address your needs, get to doctor appointments, and accept yourself without judgment.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.