Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Living with a chronic, painful condition can be challenging, especially when — as is often the case with complex regional pain syndrome — your friends and family don't believe you could be feeling as much pain as you describe. Share information from reliable sources about complex regional pain syndrome with those close to you to help them understand what you're experiencing.
Take care of your physical and mental health by following these suggestions:
- Maintain normal daily activities as best you can.
- Pace yourself and be sure to get the rest that you need.
- Stay connected with friends and family.
- Continue to pursue hobbies that you enjoy and are able to do.
If complex regional pain syndrome makes it difficult for you to do things you enjoy, ask your doctor about ways to get around the obstacles.
Keep in mind that your physical health can directly affect your mental health. Denial, anger and frustration are common with chronic illnesses. At times, you may need more tools to deal with your emotions. A therapist, behavioral psychologist or other professional may be able to help you put things in perspective. They also may be able to teach you coping skills, such as relaxation or meditation techniques.
Sometimes joining a support group, where you can share experiences and feelings with other people, is a good approach. Ask your doctor what support groups are available in your community.
- Sheon RP. Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Sheon RP. Prevention and management of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy/detail_reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy.htm. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Neuropathic pain. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec16/ch209/ch209c.html#sec16-ch209-ch209c-285. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Shipton EA. Complex regional pain syndrome — Mechanisms, diagnosis, and management. Current Anaesthesia & Critical Care. 2009;20:209.