50 Chronic Pain Quotes To Inspire

Chronic pain is the worst. Some days, of course, it's worse than others, but for the days that it's terrible, a little bit of understanding goes a long way. After all, you're not alone. Chronic pain affects approximately 50 million adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"There are a lot of diseases and conditions out there that can't be cured, but there are two things about chronic pain that make it different," Dr. Steve Knauf, Executive Director of Chiropractic and Compliance of The Joint Chiropractic tells Parade. "The first is that pain is largely subjective and the second is the fact that pain is basically invisible, making it difficult for people to understand and give attention to."

These reasons make chronic pain more difficult to treat, but they can also contribute to mental health complications as well. "Those individuals suffering from chronic pain may be more susceptible to mental health issues like anxiety or depression," Dr. Knauf says. "So, not only can chronic pain be physically exhausting [but] it can be mentally exhausting as well."

Dr. Knauf adds that chiropractic care can help mitigate chronic pain by providing relief. "Performing chiropractic adjustments can help restore proper motion and function to injured areas which can help manage chronic pain from physical trauma," he explains.

But on the days when you're just not having it and are in a bad mood because of the pain or experiencing frustrating levels of pain, try seeking encouragement from others who deal with chronic pain, too. After all, a mental tune-up can be as beneficial as a physical one!

From celebrities with chronic pain to doctors and pain-expert authors, these 50 quotes about chronic pain offer motivation, empathy and understanding—and will help you feel less alone.

50 Chronic Pain Quotes

1. "You can't go through life allowing pain to dictate how you behave. It's easy to sit here in your bedroom and wallow in your hurt feelings. It's hard to rise above it." —Adam Braverman, Parenthood

2. "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." —Buddhist Proverb

3. "Time is not a cure for chronic pain, but it can be crucial for improvement. It takes time to change, to recover and to make progress." —Dr. Mel Pohl, A Day Without Pain

4. "Sometimes I think I shouldn’t feel the way I do. When I start thinking this way I tell myself that feelings are neither good nor bad—they simply are. In the midst of intense negative feelings, whether fear, anger, depression, etc., it can feel as though they will last forever, like they will never end. It promotes emotional balance to maintain an awareness that all feelings are temporary and that they always change." —From Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain

5. "Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together." —Marilyn Monroe

6. "Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it." —Michael J. Fox

7. "I don't believe in pain management anymore, I believe in trying to cure persistent pain." —Dr. Moskowitz

8. "Some people think that to be strong is to never feel pain. In reality, the strongest people are the ones who feel it, understand it, and accept it." —Unknown

9. "When pain brings you down, don't be silly, don't close your eyes and cry, you just might be in the best position to see the sunshine." —Alanis Morissette

10. "The longer you have pain, the better your spinal cord gets at producing danger messages to the brain, even if there is no danger in the tissue." —Dr. Lorimer Moseley

Related: 100 Chronic Illness Quotes To Inspire

11. "There is a point to changes like these. I have to move on to other things, to other conceptions of myself. I play golf. I still work. And I can be pretty happy just walking the land." —Morgan Freeman

12. "Healing severe or chronic pain, I believe, includes transforming our relationship to the pain and ultimately, it is about transforming our relationship to who we are and to life." —Sarah Anne Shockley, The Pain Companion: Practical Tools for Living With & Moving Beyond Chronic Pain

13. "I thought I was going to die [but] I've gone from where I can't function, where 'I just can't live like this' to 'I've got a bad headache.'" —George Clooney

14. "Chronic pain is not all about the body and it's not all about the brain—it's everything. Target everything. Take back your life." —Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, Pain and the Brain

15. "Pain is always accompanied by emotion and meaning so that each pain is unique to the individual. The word pain is used to group together a class of combined sensory-emotional events. The class contains many different types of pain, each of which is a personal, unique experience for the person who suffers." —Patrick Wall, Pain: The Science of Suffering

16. "There is an element and a very strong piece of me that believes pain is a microphone. My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is [good]... I hope that people watching it that do struggle with chronic pain know that they are not alone... I want people that watch it that think there's no way I live that way because they see me dance and sing, to know I struggle with things like them and that I work through it and that it can be done." —Lady Gaga

Related: How Kristin Chenoweth Manages Her Chronic Pain

17. "I'm not an early bird or a night owl, I'm a permanently exhausted pigeon." —Unknown

18. "Don't fight your pain; you can't win. The paradox of recovery is that you have to surrender to win. Accepting what you cannot change makes the difference." —From Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain

19. "The body does not give up on us, so we can't give up on it. My goal is always to work with my body, not against it so that it can function efficiently... I also try to remember that there have been pain-free days—which means that this difficult time will be over and give way to a better time... That's where gratitude is so important. Writing gratitude lists to remember all the wonderful things I've experienced has also been really helpful for me." —Paula Abdul

20. "And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about." —Haruki Murakami

21. "I'm not looking for sympathy or anyone to care about it. This is my life and I've moved forward. It doesn't stop me from being anywhere I want to be."—Frankie Muniz

22. "Since chronic pain frequently cannot be seen or measured, unlike acute pain, doctors, colleagues, friends or family may question or doubt your pain. In effect, it doesn’t matter if anyone believes you, but it is extremely important for you to acknowledge that all pain is real." —From Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain

23. "It's not about getting over things, it's about making room for them. It’s about painting the picture with contrast." —Brianna Wiest

24. "It's been a long recovery... You can't mourn for how you used to feel... You have to come to terms with it." George Clooney

Related: 50 Mindfulness Quotes To Inspire and Ground You

25. "The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about." —Unknown

26. "Our strength grows out of our weaknesses." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

27. "I will always have pain. But I exercise as much as I can, and I find that makes a huge difference. And if my body does seize up, I have a pain plan in place. I go back to my doctor." —Jennifer Grey

28. "Laughter truly is medicine. Though this won't fix everything, finding ways to smile and laugh more will change your body’s chemistry in many positive ways. This is not just a distraction: It is an effective way to find some respite from your pain. It's okay to have fun when you’re in pain. Smiling and laughing may be difficult, but it's both okay and possible. Keep trying!" —Dr. Neil Pearson

29. "Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." —Arnold Schwarzenegger

30. "I've had it for so many years…that rebellion of not taking care of myself can't exist anymore."—Gina Rodriguez

31. "For those who are chronically ill and in chronic pain: Have you had the experience of doctors not listening to you? If so, how do you not tear their heads off with your bare hands?" —Sarah Hyland

32. "I have lost the ability to read, write or even watch TV, because I can't process information or any stimulation for that matter. It feels like someone came in and confiscated my brain and tied my hands behind my back to just watch and see life go by without me participating in it." —Yolanda Hadid

33. "You are not defeated when you lose. You are defeated when you quit." —Paulo Coelho

Related: 40 Mental Health Quotes To Lift the Spirits

34. "Endometriosis is not life-threatening. I know I'm lucky in the grand health scheme, but I also know that I am one of many women who grasp for a sense of consistent well-being, fight against the betrayals of their bodies and who are often met with skepticism by doctors trained to view painful periods as a lot of women who should learn to grin and bear it." —Lena Dunham

35. "You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it; you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That's how I have done it. There's no other way."Elizabeth Taylor

36. "It starts with brain fog; for a while I couldn’t put sentences together. I'm really tired a lot. A few weeks ago I had a big campaign shoot that I had to reschedule. It's hard, but I push through, because at the end of the day, if you're not working, somebody else is." Bella Hadid

37. "The fatigue is hard to explain unless you have it. Some mornings I feel really sick, like when you don't get a lot of sleep or you have the flu or cold. I always have some level of tiredness. And the more I tried to push through it, the tougher it got." Venus Williams

38. "The journey of recovery from chronic disease is a long and winding road of small victories." —Yolanda Hadid

39. "I can easily forget that I’m in control of my life and return to feeling like a victim of my chronic pain. I may start asking myself again why this has happened to me, what I did to deserve this, etc. However, one of the gifts of pain recovery has been freedom from victim-thinking. This comes about overtime, but it does come." From Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain

40. "Maybe I wasn't necessarily really good at knowing what that meant so it actually got to a point where it was life-or-death." —Selena Gomez

41. "When I was diagnosed, my doctor said, 'I don't want you to think you can't do anything that you don't want to do in this life.' MS is part of me, but it's not who I am."—Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Related: Selma Blair Talks About Battling MS

42. "I had no idea what was going on and I didn't have any way of solving it. Very recently I was diagnosed with PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome, [a] hormone imbalance. And finally, I knew why this was happening to me." —Sasha Pieterse

43. "Tough times never last, but tough people do." —Robert H. Schuller

44. "It's about taking it seriously first and foremost and getting real and being diligent about what you need to do to manage the disease. It takes time and it takes a plan but once you have a plan in order it's about making healthier choices, getting active, and staying diligent on the program your doctors put you on." —Anthony Anderson

45. "Even to this day, I don't subscribe—like, Lupus doesn't have me. Some doctor said this. But I'm going to do everything I can do to maintain my physical, mental and spiritual health." —Nick Cannon

46. "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." —Ernest Hemingway

47. "I've always thought that if you work really hard at something, you can get it. But I was faced with the reality that this just wasn't happening. Especially given my celiac disease, my body tends to shut down when I'm under stress, like when I'm training for a marathon or when I was starving in Australia. So I decided to be kinder to my body." —Elisabeth Hasselbeck

48. "[Diabetes] is a disease I was diagnosed with when I was 13. It was a moment in my life when I was just getting ready to start making music with my brothers and touring and it was something I thought would slow me down before I even got started." —Nick Jonas

49. "I'm not a 'Vitiligo Sufferer.' I'm not a 'Vitiligo model.' I am Winnie. I am a model. And [I] happen to have Vitiligo. Stop putting these titles on me or anyone else. I am not suffering! If anything I'm succeeding at showing people that their differences don’t make them who they are!" —Winnie Harlow

50. The emotional side of MS is the toughest part. Depression is one of the most common symptoms that people with MS share... There are times it just comes out of nowhere and really kicks me in the ass." —Jack Osbourne

Do you suffer from headaches or back pain? Try these 5 doctor-recommended pain relief tips!