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Living Well With Chronic Pain

Published in Pain Center, For the Health of It Author: Michael Massey,DO

Everyone experiences pain at some point in their life. However, some people experience pain more often than others.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention most recently reported about 20 percent of adults in the United States (50 million) suffer from chronic pain. They also reported eight percent of these patients (19.6 million) have “high-impact chronic pain.” Basically, pain has almost completely taken over a person’s life.

The life of people with chronic pain can start to tank when their pain is not managed the right way. They are often miserable. Things like depression, anger, anxiety and poor sleep can start to become commonplace for these people. If not addressed, relationships can start to suffer. Even someone’s personality can start to change. Eventually, people with uncontrolled chronic pain end up feeling completely helpless.

Health care currently is structured primarily to either give patients with chronic pain a medicine, an interventional pain procedure and/or a surgery. People with simple chronic pain can sometimes get relief from these treatments. However, many people with chronic pain, particularly high impact chronic pain, need to explore ways they can self-manage their pain to take their life back.

There are a variety of programs that teach chronic pain patients the skills needed to live healthy and happy lives. In the world of pain medicine, these are called interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs. There are also a variety of pain classes with a structured curriculum that addresses common issues and self-care solutions for patients with chronic pain. Programs that focus on pain management self-care are not intended to cure a patient’s pain, but to help them live with the pain in a way where they are happy and healthy while maintaining their relationships.

Living Well With Chronic Pain — Starts This Thursday
CentraCare is currently working with Juniper to help put on a class entitled Living Well With Chronic Pain. The class has a six-week curriculum. Some of the topics include communicating with doctors and family, mind-body connections, benefits of physical activity and more. The curriculum was developed by specialists from Stanford. The next class starts Sept. 19 and is free of charge. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, you can register for the class by calling 320-255-7245.
Learn More and Register Online