When Your Chronic Pain Causes Anxiety, it’s Time to Take Control

When you suffer from a painful chronic condition, even during fleeting moments of relief, you may experience anxiety about the inevitable return of your symptoms. Whether you’re dealing with foot pain that prevents you from walking the dog, or your back pain is taking a toll on your social life, the emotions involved can be due to a perceived lack of control. But, with the help of your doctor, you can take back control.

The first part of taking control of your health is seeking help from a trained professional. Make an appointment with your doctor to seek diagnosis if you haven’t received one, and create a plan. While your doctor may have a specific treatment plan in mind, you can inquire about things you can do at home to hasten relief and take a stand against your pain. Ask about…


Depending upon your diagnosis, yoga may help you lessen your symptoms. Repetitive improper body alignment or tight muscles and ligaments in specific regions of the body can cause or exasperate some conditions. Yoga can help you find proper alignment and engage in stretching to relax the area. For example, yoga may help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis or chronic low back pain. It’s imperative that you perform stretches and poses correctly, so you should seek the assistance of a trained professional to help you shape your at-home practice.


While a professional massage can help control chronic pain, it may not always be feasible to make it to an appointment with your schedule or budget. Tools like foam rollers and trigger point balls can be used to address specific types of distress, like sciatica and fibromyalgia. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning your self-massage regimen.

Cold/Heat Therapy

We often think of icing injuries and using a heating pad for muscular pain relief, but targeted temperature therapy can help relieve a variety of ailments. For example, researchers found that cold therapy not only aided in migraine relief but with continued use, provided cumulative relief to participants.

Physical Therapy Exercises

Your doctor may add another member to your healthcare team, depending upon your diagnosis. A physical therapist can help you gain control over your symptoms by providing you with exercises and prescriptive activities to do at home that will make you feel stronger and reduce your pain. After you get your plan, you can gain control over your recovery by remaining prolific with your physical therapy routine.

Oral/Topical Pain Relievers

Introducing an oral anti-inflammatory to your pain plan can be an effective way to gain a sense of control over your chronic pain. Your doctor may recommend adding an over-the-counter NSAID to your regiment. If you’re experiencing muscle pain, topical pain relievers, which are available at drug stores, can help – especially when symptoms are at their strongest.

Your healthcare professional will provide you with the best advice on how to handle your ailment, but you can talk to them about ways to practice self-care that can help reduce the emotional toll of chronic pain by putting some control back in your hands.

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