Unfortunately, alleviating pain isn't always straightforward. At least 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Terence Hunt from the S.E.L. Group joins us to discuss this national problem and how to help if it affect you.
Pain serves an important purpose by alerting you to injuries such as a sprained ankle or burned hand. Chronic pain, however, is often more complex. People often think of pain as a purely physical sensation. However, pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors. Furthermore, chronic pain can cause feelings such as anger, hopelessness, sadness and anxiety. To treat pain effectively, you must address the physical, emotional and psychological aspects.
Some tips to address chronic pain:
• Stay Active: Pain, or the fear of pain, can lead people to stop doing the things they enjoy. It's important not to let pain take over your life.
• Know Your Limits: Continue to be active in a way that acknowledges your physical limitations. Make a plan about how to manage your pain, and don't push yourself to do more than you can handle.
• Exercise: Stay healthy with low-impact exercise such as stretching, yoga, walking and swimming.
• Make Social Connections: Call a family member, invite a friend to lunch or make a date for coffee with a pal you haven't seen in a while. Research shows that people with greater social support are more resilient and experience less depression and anxiety. Ask for help when you need it.
• Distract Yourself: When pain flares, find ways to distract your mind from it. Watch a movie, take a walk, engage in a hobby or visit a museum. Pleasant experiences can help you cope with pain.
• Don't Lose Hope: With the right kind of psychological treatments, many people learn to manage their pain and think of it in a different way.
• Follow Prescriptions Carefully: If medications are part of your treatment plan, be sure to use them as prescribed by your doctor to avoid possible dangerous side effects.
For more of your questions on chronic pain or if you're seeking professional help for any of your counseling needs contact Terence Hunt at The Social and Emotional Learning Group (The S.E.L. Group.) They're located at 3300 Battleground Avenue Suite 202 Greensboro, NC 27410.
You can also reach counselors by phone at 336-285-7173, by fax at 336-285-7174, or through their website.