Overcoming chronic pain - an introduction
People usually try to avoid pain. However, sufferers of chronic pain cannot avoid their pain.
Fortunately, it is possible to overcome, manage and treat chronic pain. The articles about treating chronic pain on this website can teach you skills that enable you to develop from being a pain sufferers into a pain manager.
By tuning into pain rather than trying to avoid it, sufferers learn to understand personal pain patterns. Understanding pain is the first step towards pain relief. This welcome relief comes about when you learn a variety of pain management skills taught here in simple, straightforward steps.
This site combines the collective knowledge and wisdom of pain specialists. Drawing on feedback from hundreds of pain patients, specialists have show their patients how to chart a personalized pain model and choose skills to help manage the worst aspects of pain.
Over time, the patients who practised these skills become more relaxed, physically fitter, and developed better problem-solving strategies. In addition, there are articles which teach how to reduce depression, anxiety, anger and the sleep difficulties that often accompany pain.
The biggest challenge to readers of self-help articles is to practise the skills taught. No matter how helpful, any self-help article that is not read or not acted upon offers no benefit. For this reason, articles about pain self-help are brief. Even a 10-minute read can lead to helpful knowledge. Most of the exercises taught can be learned quickly and practised in 10- or 15-minute segments. Readers can pace themselves and use these articles in whatever timeframe fits each day’s planning.
Chronic pain sufferers are often unaware of the progress in pain management achieved over the past few decades. Even some healthcare providers will not be aware of all the information on these pages on this website.
The articles about overcoming chronic pain provide an overview of the most up-to-date techniques. They emphasize ideas and skills that have been validated by research and successfully used by many pain sufferers. For example, mood management articles draw on ideas from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that research shows is highly effective for depression and anxiety.
The article on sleep teaches the research-based practice of ‘good sleep hygiene’. The article on ‘Getting Fitter and Being More Active’ combines fitness principles with research on pain. So readers of these articles can feel secure that the ideas presented on this site not simply the opinions of the author. They are summaries of the best information and practice currently available to understand and manage chronic pain.
Chronic pain can affect every aspect of one’s life. No single skill is likely to be sufficient to manage this type of pain. The good news is that groups of skills are highly effective in managing chronic pain. These articles will teache you how to choose and learn the skills that are best to cope with life with your pain. As you develop your skills, you can measure your progress, and see positive changes in your confidence, and your daily and social activities. At first, the changes achieved may seem small. But those who stick with a programme can move mountains of distress due to pain. I wish you every success in building your own effective pain management programme.