According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pain affects about 20% of the U.S. population. Chronic pain is described as ongoing pain lasting for more than 6 months at a time. Unlike acute pain that comes on suddenly, chronic pain usually has a slower onset. Chronic pain is often associated with illnesses that no not have a known cure. Chronic pain is frustrating and wearisome and can get in the way of daily activities and adversely impact quality of life.
Living with chronic pain is challenging as it can interfere with work, relationships, and hobbies. Chronic pain has been linked to emotional disturbances, depression, reduced physical activity, and social isolation. Chronic pain costs the U.S. millions in medical costs, disability programs, and lost productivity.
It has long been thought that pain medications, more specifically a class of drugs known as “opioids”, were the most effective treatment for chronic pain. While true in some cases, use of opioid pain medication can lead to addiction and physical dependence. That is why those who suffer with chronic pain have been turning to alternative medications and treatments offered by their physicians. Finding a physician that works with patients to create a pain management plan is important. There are also many strategies that can be employed to improve activities of daily life for those experiencing chronic pain.
Some of those strategies include:
- Meditation & Breathing Exercises
- Non-Opioid Medications (NSAIDS, acetaminophen, and antidepressants)
- Balance & Strength Building Exercises
- Mindfulness Practices
- Group or Individual Therapy
- Distraction Techniques
- Development of Healthy Sleep Patterns
- Planning and Pacing
- Weight Loss
- Physical & Occupational Therapy
The Farmington Valley Health District is proud to provide Live Well Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop including one focused on pain management. These evidence-based programs have been shown to improve the lives of those living with chronic illness and pain. Click the link below to learn more about the Live Well Chronic Pain Self-Management. To find out if a workshop is scheduled near you visit: www.fvhd.org