Chronic Pain Articles
Living with Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a serious issue. As many as one in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain, with a quarter of those rating the pain as severe. The cost of chronic pain to society, our health care system, and to individuals is high. However, there is hope. Our knowledge and understanding of chronic pain is changing. Those coping with chronic pain can now access many more potential therapies and tools to live a better life.
Understanding Pain and Setting Goals - knowledge is power
Pain is a personal experience. It involves both the senses and emotions. When pain persists for a long time, the ability to cope with or manage it often breaks down. The first step in controlling pain is understanding it.
An Ounce of Prevention - Take action to avoid unnecessary pain
When it comes to chronic pain, an ounce of prevention goes a long way. Most of the time, acute (short-term) pain clears up with normal healing. However, sometimes it persists to become chronic pain. The big question is – can you avoid chronic pain? The answer is not a straight yes or no.
When Pain Doesn't End - Discovering ways to manage chronic pain
Pain has always been thought of as a warning that something is wrong. However, not all pain is the same. We are learning that we should react to some kinds of pain differently.
Medication can play a critical role in managing chronic pain. Often, it is just a small part of an overall strategy to treat and cope with pain. It is most successful combined with other methods.
Opioids - Are they right for you?
Opioids are an important option in treating certain types of chronic pain. These medications are also known as narcotics, or more generally as painkillers. The opioid type of medication has been around for centuries. It is likely one of the world's oldest drugs.
Managing Your Pain - Self-management tools to keep you in control
As technology and understanding of chronic pain develop, we are finding many ways to subdue it. However, no treatment yet exists that can eliminate chronic pain. Managing this kind of pain effectively involves a wide range of strategies. Self-management therapies are especially important.
Movement Matters - Physiotherapy and chronic pain
By definition, chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three months. My experience with it began when I was in grade 8. I injured my lower back playing volleyball. I went to emergency after becoming unable to move – with lots of pain. The doctors felt it was a muscle injury. They told me to rest and it would get better. I was plagued with occasional pain and no clear diagnosis for years. Finally, after going to university and getting a degree in physical therapy, I began to figure it out. Turns out that old Grade 8 injury was actually a fracture in my lumbar spine. With this diagnosis, my understanding of chronic pain began.
The Tortoise and the Hare - Pacing with chronic pain
Perhaps you have heard the fable about the tortoise and the hare. The two decide to race. The hare sprints away from the start line, easily pulling away from the tortoise, but runs out of steam and must rest. Meanwhile, the tortoise keeps up a steady pace and beats the hare. The moral – slow and steady wins the race.
Nutrition and Chronic Pain - Diet makes a difference
As many as one in four Canadians lives with chronic pain. Pain may be occasional, such as a migraine headache, or constant discomfort due to an injury, arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia or other conditions. Chronic pain can seriously affect your quality of life. It affects the ability to work, maintain relationships, and keep up with basic needs. If you have chronic pain, you may feel so tired and sore that you can't even think about preparing a healthy meal. Perhaps you relate to food in terms of how it affects your weight. You might choose foods to lower the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. However, good nutrition keeps your body healthy and can help manage or reduce the burden of chronic pain. Using these techniques, you can start on the road to healthier eating, and continue even when pain flares.
Letting Go, Moving Forward - Loss and hope with chronic pain
Is there an expiry date on hope?" asked a young woman in the chronic pain group. The answer – it depends on the hope. Are you focusing on a miraculous cure that would allow your life to return to what it was before pain? Or is the hope directed towards finding meaning and contentment in life despite the pain?
Back to Work - Returning to work with chronic pain
When are you returning to work?
It seems a simple question when asked by your family, friends and coworkers. However, the answer can be complex, especially when you have chronic pain. Many factors come into play, including physical and mental readiness as well as work availability. The experience will be different for each person. If you are thinking about returning to work, advance planning can help make the transition successful.