Dealing with chronic pain is a tremendous (and all too common) challenge. Doing so alone is even more difficult. Research shows that a comprehensive approach that considers multiple components of wellness is essential to a pain-free life. In order for pain treatment to be most effective, any program must:
Treat you as a person, rather than just a patient: Everybody experiences their discomfort differently. Just the same, everyone has different priorities and goals for themselves. While there may be one type of treatment that works best for patients with a particular health challenge, treatment for each person must be personalized.
Be comprehensive: There is no one right approach to dealing with chronic pain effectively. Instead, there’s the right approach, for the right person, at the right time. This requires a comprehensive, holistic view of all of the factors involved.
Involve you: This is your story, and only you can determine how it unfolds. The right care program should put you and your wishes at the center.
Acknowledge what’s possible: While everyone has their own unique set of expectations for the future based on their condition, it is important to understand that complete recovery from pain shouldn’t always be the primary goal. Sometimes, working to live your best life while learning to listen to the messages your pain is offering is an ultimately more helpful goal. Importantly, this does not mean that you have to accept the fact that you’ll be in pain forever. Instead, it means recognizing the role that pain plays within the context of your unique values and wishes for yourself. Research shows that this type of approach makes taking your life back from chronic pain more likely.
Focus on your abilities: When dealing with chronic pain, it is natural to consider personal limitations or to compare current abilities to those from your past. When focusing on what might be possible, taking note of what you’re still able to do is important.
Help you feel supported and understood: Research shows that when people feel better supported, completely heard, and more thoroughly understood they’re more likely to feel better. This is true no matter the health challenge in question.
The Reframing Pain Program at InnerSource Health is designed to help you accomplish all of that and more. We begin with a thorough understanding of what chronic pain really is, and the purpose that it serves. Borrowing and combining the best of approaches from pain psychology, lifestyle medicine, and mindfulness allows you to feel as supported as possible. Best of all, research shows that each of these components can be very helpful in taking back your life:
A “psychosocial” approach to chronic pain that takes you and your personal needs into account in addition to your physical condition is essential: Study
Self-management helps people dealing with chronic pain to have a better mood: Study
Mindfulness meditation can reduce pain: Study
The right types of safe physical activity can reduce pain: Study
An anti-inflammatory diet can reduce pain if combined with a comprehensive lifestyle change: Study