Living with spinal stenosis can be a real challenge, since the condition often entails physical pain, functional disability and psychoemotional stress that can all combine to degrade the quality of our human existence. Many patients succumb to the anatomical or emotional strains of spinal stenosis, forcing them to suffer exclusively, instead of enjoying a full and satisfying life. Few conditions can match the ferocity and magnitude of severe central canal stenosis. There is simply no way to understand the impact of the ailment unless you live through it firsthand.
This essay provides support and guidance for patients who feel lost in life due to their chronic stenosis problems. We will detail practical coping strategies that can improve the quality of life, as well as impart some wisdom that can help any patient to make the best of a bad health situation.
Living with Spinal Stenosis Impediments
Since spinal stenosis can entail both mind and body consequences, the variation of patient complaints is staggering. Each patient will have aspects of the condition that affects them more than others and a few effects that can truly ruin their overall enjoyment of life. Here are some of the most commonly reported life problems cited by spinal stenosis sufferers:
Pain is a problem unto itself. Most patients try their best to deal with chronic pain, but often find that they are drawn towards unproductive coping measures to enact relief, such as the ongoing use of pharmaceutical products. Many patients complain about the side effects of these pills, while they are not often even aware that the worst consequences are those which go unnoticed, until it is too late. Organ damage, addiction and death are some real issues that many chronic stenosis patients must contend with as a direct result of drug therapies.
A reduction or loss of ability to work is a very commonly reported problem that can diminish economic prosperity, as well as decrease overall satisfaction with life. So many patients love their work and feel deprived of their productivity by debilitating stenosis. The inability to work reaps terribly affective emotional casualties upon most patients, making them lose self-esteem, develop a poor self image and rely heavily on others for their basic needs in life.
Common emotional reactions can make life a trial for spinal stenosis sufferers. Anger, frustration and depression are all common psychological effects of any chronic pain syndrome. Anger can cause widespread health issues and may also ruin interpersonal relationships. So many chronic pain sufferers displace anger towards the very people who love them and care for them. Depression can make life a tiresome ordeal and some patients consider or act on the idea of suicide as a means of escaping their torment.
Spinal Stenosis Solutions
Now, let’s examine some potential fixes for many problems associated with chronic spinal stenosis pain:
Pain must be managed constructively. Patients should investigate methods of pain management that will not do more harm than good. There are many prospective solutions, depending on the patient needs and the characteristics of the specific stenosis expression. Acupuncture, massage, exercise, meditation, chiropractic, coaching and many other modalities offer the possibility for pain relief, without the risk of drug or injection therapies.
Losing a lifelong job, or having to retire from a beloved vocation, can be heartbreaking. There is no way to deny this fact. However, there is no better time to reinvent oneself professionally than in our modern world. People can accomplish anything and everything, despite the worst mental and physical impediments. Spinal stenosis patients can go back to school online, can develop businesses online and can get around using the many accessibility aids that are generally available in the developed world. There is nothing that a determined patient can not achieve, despite being affected by the very worst spinal stenosis symptoms and functional restrictions.
Finally, negative emotions must be consciously discovered, acknowledged and dealt with, in order to preserve any semblance of a meaningful life. Anger, frustration and depression are all completely understandable reactions to chronic pain. However, these negative emotional conditions beget more suffering and a viscous cycle of never-ending misery for the patient, as well as for those around them. It is vital to accept the bad of life, while still recognizing that good exists all around, just waiting to be tapped into for a renewable source of strength and inspiration. Open communication is crucial to overcome problematic emotions. Instead of arguing or yelling, patients are advised to try talking about the innermost feelings, fears and frustrations to those who support them. If this proves impossible or ineffective, seeking professional psychological counseling is an excellent option.
Tips on Living with Spinal Stenosis
Life endures until it no longer exists. We do not know when our final day will arrive, but we surely know that each of us struggles with our own burdens throughout life and must try our best to survive, despite our worst obstacles.
As a chronic back and neck sufferer for over 3 decades, I completely understand the immense challenges of keeping a positive mindset and maintaining a healthy body and soul, despite the ravages of physical pain. My goal has always been to help patients to face all their battles, not just the physical ones. There is more to beating spinal stenosis than just managing the symptoms. There is the emotional toll, the vocation toll, the interpersonal toll and many other damaged facets of life.
Remember, it is possible to triumph over stenosis, despite still enduring the condition each and every day. All it takes is a truly concerted effort to live, despite the hardship, and trying to do each thing in life to the very best of your ability. A paradigm change in perception is all it takes to get even the most lost patient back on course to a more fulfilling existence.
We would love to hear your own personal coping mechanisms on our social media pages. If you have a strategy that worked well for you, why not improve your karma by sharing it with other patients who are still struggling every day with the most basic tasks of life, due to the terrible effects of spinal stenosis.