The Importance of Acceptance in Chronic Pain Recovery

In chronic pain, acceptance of your situation is an important starting point for improvement. By this I do not mean simply accepting that your life has actually become worse, but rather that your state of health and wellbeing have deteriorated and that helpful changes need to be implemented as soon as feasible, regardless of any other treatments that you may be receiving.

Once you understand what is going on regarding your condition, you need to review and consider which behaviors and habits you need to drop, which helpful behaviors you have to re-adopt or expand, as well as whether any of your thinking patterns are holding you back and keeping you stuck.

The second aspect of acceptance can be made when you learn of some advice or treatment that can become easily incorporated into your day and that will help change your situation for the better. It should be evidence-based, helpful, and plausible (making sense), as well as be endorsed by your physician. This can improve your situation greatly. For example, hypertension and diabetes can be greatly improved by losing excess weight, even if you still need medication. Chronic conditions work this way.

It is not only what you are given (medication, injections, physical therapies) that helps, but also what you do, and the unhealthy habits you put on hold.

And then this brings us to the importance of and need for meaning. Meaning, as it applies not only to your condition, or what is going on in the body, but also what your condition means to you personally in the way that it impacts most areas of your life, as happens with chronic pain.

I will discuss the importance of meaning in a subsequent posting.

photo credit: Marcos Paulo Prado