We often here people living with chronic pain talking about suffering. We also hear statements such as “I have a bad knee” or “this stupid pain is killing me.” When we hear those types of statements we know that the individual has not made peace with their pain and is in fact at war with it. Unfortunately, this is like a Civil War and the person is really fighting their self and suffering as a result.
Because pain is often seen as the enemy, people seeking pain relief want a quick fix. As a society we’ve been trained by the medical and pharmaceutical industries to expect one. What we have forgotten is that human beings need pain to survive. Pain is the signal that says something is wrong. As human beings we want to know why this something is happening to us. But when it’s not possible to pinpoint where pain is coming from, the solution is often symptom management through medication.
Unfortunately when medication alone does not eliminate the pain or improve the lifestyle losses people are experiencing, the result is usually irrational thinking and uncomfortable emotions—in other words, suffering. The anticipation of an expected level of pain can actually influence the degree to which someone experiences pain and in many cases suffering.
So what does freedom from suffering take? It is different for every person but there are some general areas that are important to focus on and develop. First of all it is essential to deal with all aspects of the pain and its impact on the whole person. To do this an effective chronic pain management treatment plan needs to contain three major components:
(1) Effective and safe medication management
(2) A plan to manage the psychological/emotional components of the pain
(3) Develop a proactive practice of non-medication based activities
It is also important to take a look at all areas of the self: (a) The physical self; (b) The psychological (thinking and feeling) self; (c) The social/cultural aspects of self; and (d) The spiritual aspects of self. These are also the four areas that are impacted when living with chronic pain on a daily basis. That means that if the treatment plan does not adequately address all four areas, chronic pain management will not be as effective—or it may lead to ongoing suffering.
People who are willing to develop a treatment plan that includes medication management, psychological/emotional healing, social/cultural and spiritual growth have a much better chance of obtaining effective chronic pain management and freedom from suffering. Remember though this is a right, but it is also a responsibility.
To learn more about this topic please check out my new article Effective Chronic Pain Managaement is a Right and a Responsibility that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are once again presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on August 11-13, 2011 again in our Sacramento office space. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are working with people undergoing chronic pain management and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing their chronic pain and coexisting psychological disorders; including depression, addiction and other coexisting psychological disorders effectively; please consider my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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