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What is the psychological impact of chronic pain? Carenity members share their experience!

Published May 29, 2021 • By Candice Salomé

Whatever its cause, with time, chronic pain can have an impact on a person's mental wellbeing, causing insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety, fatigue, social isolation and more. In order to evaluate the real impact of chronic pain, we launched a survey from April 28 to May 17, 2021 to which 597 members of our French, UK and American communities responded!

What is the impact of chronic pain on the everyday lives of Carenity members? What is the psychological impact of this pain? What do Carenity members do to alleviate it?

We tell you everything in our article!

What is the psychological impact of chronic pain? Carenity members share their experience!

When pain becomes chronic, it not only causes significant physical discomfort but also generates great mental suffering that can deepen over time. Thanks to our survey, we will be able to address the true impact that chronic pain has on the daily lives of Carenity members.

597 members responded to our survey in the United States, United Kingdom, and France

we launched a survey from April 28 to May 17, 2021 to which 597 members of the French, UK and American communities responded. We asked them questions about the impact of chronic pain on their daily lives.

The majority of respondents are between 41 and 60 years old (55%) and over 60 years old (26%).

They are affected by the following chronic illnesses:

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63% of the respondents are affected by a single health condition. Nevertheless, 15% of them are affected by two conditions and 9% by three.

79% of respondents experience pain on a daily basis

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79% of respondents are affected by chronic pain on a daily basis while 14% are affected several times a week.

Chronic pain has a significant impact on Carenity members' daily lives

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Chronic pain prevents 24% of members from doing the things they love. It also impacts members' ability to take care of their homes for 22% of respondents and 17% can no longer work because of it.

Chronic pain also has a major impact on respondents' mental well-being. For members, this pain causes:

editor_meta_bo_img_aad9062f29ef1fb8660a3a25cd6fa3e3.png Anxiety (91%)

editor_meta_bo_img_97ac956bc7159ee075d34970560178e9.png Insomnia (60%)

editor_meta_bo_img_6c8e2cc3ac4bc32e7905ae7b1621a5c4.png Fatigue (59%)

editor_meta_bo_img_816ff99977992e5a91cce57bf9958e17.png Emotional stress (59%)

editor_meta_bo_img_dcdb5dc8ef6d8c15a675cf614e7ef359.png Withdrawal (social isolation) (46%)

editor_meta_bo_img_1f9978eba8afa1453a57e5e64f80a5ee.png Depression (45%)

editor_meta_bo_img_cca79f9a6231be610a986c7187fd6e93.png Low libido (42%)

Members use various methods to alleviate their chronic pain

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66% of respondents use pain medication to ease their chronic pain. Nevertheless, a large proportion use more natural methods: 25% use massage, 22% meditation, 16% essential oils, 7% acupuncture, and 6% hypnosis.

Of the members who answered "Other", they resort to: exercise and naturopathy.

Tips for living better with chronic pain in the day-to-day

The vast majority of pain has a physical origin. However, psychological factors can influence the perception of pain and, sometimes, the impairment associated with pain. Anxiety and depression can prevent patients from being able to control their symptoms and therefore from carrying out their occupations and activities.

Indeed, patients with chronic pain, knowing that the pain will come back may become anxious at the thought and thus anticipate its return. If these same patients can understand that a worsening of the pain does not necessarily indicate new lesions in their body, then they can be less anxious and therefore have less pain.

Here are some techniques to help you live better with chronic pain:

Meditation and mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness have been found to be beneficial in reducing all types of pain. These practices help to manage stress, reduce the risk of depression, allow for better sleep and increase overall well-being.

>> You can find a 10-minute mindfulness meditation video to try at home here <<

Hypnosis

Hypnosis has many beneficial effects for the body and the mind. You can choose to consult a therapist or opt for self-hypnosis by training yourself via books, videos, or apps. The benefits are the same: hypnosis reduces pain, increases relaxation and sleep, and reduces emotional distress.

Anti-inflammatory foods

Depression and pain have been associated with high levels of inflammation in the body. If you choose a diet based on anti-inflammatory foods such as non-processed foods, fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, etc., chronic pain tends to decrease.

An adapted and progressive exercise program

We can sometimes be afraid of being active for fear of hurting ourselves. However, it is often the reduction of physical activity that leads to "abnormal" positions and contributes to increasing pain. In addition, during physical activity, the brain secretes endorphins that act on pain and improve sleep and mood. You should start very gradually to avoid injury by starting with 5 to 10 minutes every day.


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Sources:

Carenity survey conducted from April 28 to May 17, 2021 on 597 members in France, the UK and the US.


avatar Candice Salomé

Author: Candice Salomé, Health Writer

Candice is a content creator at Carenity and specialzes in writing health articles. She has a particular interest in the fields of women's health, well-being and sports. 

Candice holds a master's degree in... >> Learn more

7 comments


PeoplewithPaws
on 10/16/21

I live with chronic calf pain every day.  I can no longer walk without a cane and when I go out I use a walker or wheel chair.  I was diagnosed during the beginning of covid and therefore my condition was not deemed an emergency, a torn ligament and began to heal and scar over the ligament.   Now, its pretty well set and can't do anything much about it short of surgery, but based on my stage 4 esophageal cancer they are reluctant to do surgery. 

My name is Pam and I am happy to be a new part of this group.  Thus far the information I am getting is great and very interesting.  I am happy to have someone to share all this with.  I do have family and friends, but I think you kind of have to be there to truly understand this cancer.   Thank you 


Dr.WhoPeggygmail.com
on 3/12/22

Don't know if my post went thru. Yes, setting clocks ahead is usual for us. Some states, or parts of states, don't do it. Have heard day or 2 after, an increase in heart attacks & strokes Can happen. Doesn't mean they will, just an observation. Sleep in extra If u can, Sunday. They also claim it's impossible to catch up on sleep. Maybe? Good luck.

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