Fact: More than 1.5 billion people are living with chronic pain, and it affects their lives in more ways than one might imagine. The effects of this kind of pain are far-reaching, affecting not just the patient but their entire family as well.
Dealing with chronic pain can have a serious financial burden on the family. An analysis performed for the Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education revealed that the annual economic cost of chronic pain in the United States is at least $560-653 billion. This is the estimated cost of combined health care and lost productivity attributed to pain.
Chronic pain also affects the family’s ability to work. Many times, family members become caregivers of those who suffer from chronic pain, meaning they have to take time off of work or leave their careers altogether. Chronic pain patients also need to be taken to appointments frequently, leading to more time off from work.
If you are a caregiver for a loved one with chronic pain, here are a couple ways to make life just a little easier.
Take time for self-care
Caregivers are at risk for pain themselves because of the physical requirements of their jobs. For instance, a study showed that those tasked with caregiving for 21 or more hours a week were highly likely to develop chronic pain themselves. This demonstrates how important self-care is for the caregivers of those with chronic pain so they don’t end up needing care themselves.
Develop a team
A team of healthcare providers can utilize alternative treatments like diet, medication, exercise, and leisure time to create a much-needed balance. Working with a pain specialist can also make a huge difference for balance and learning about new treatments that might work better as well.
Chronic pain is a hard thing to live with, but it doesn’t always have to be. Get the family involved in a way that is beneficial to everyone. For more tips on dealing with chronic pain on a familial level, visit Arizona Pain.