Chronic Pain and Disability Adjustment
At LifeConnexions we are specialists in the treatment of chronic pain and the difficulties associated with the ongoing treatment and management of this very challenging problem occuring for many people in today’s society.
Pain can be classified as either “acute” or “chronic”. Acute pain is the most common reason why patients seek medical attention. Acute pain usually has a sudden onset and is associated with tissue damage or painful stimuli (e.g., headache, skinned knee, muscle aches, labor pain). Acute pain is often adaptive because it alerts us to the presence and location of tissue injury and corrects behavior that may be causing or contributing to it. It also reminds us when an injured body part, such as a back or knee, needs time to heal.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, refers to the continuation of pain for greater than three months despite treatment and coping efforts by the individual. It has no protective role and is not necessarily associated with tissue damage as viewed from imaging techniques such as MRI or X-ray. Chronic pain can impact all areas of a person’s life and is often associated with functional, psychological and social problems. In addition, chronic pain can have a significant impact on a person’s family and friends.
From a treatment perspective a combination of psycho-education, relaxation / mindfulness meditation, increasing functional activity balanced with pacing has been found to work very well in assisting people in the management of, and coping with chronic pain. The gradual increase in appropriate values based activity, enables the sufferer to change their relationship with their thoughts and feelings about their pain and symptoms resulting in better coping and improved quality of life.