Article

Record time: Organizing medical paperwork

No one knows your medical history better than you do. If you want to play an active role in your care you’ll find it helpful to organize your own personal medical information. You probably receive care in more than one place, or from more than one health care provider, meaning that your records are in… Read more »

Making the most of your medical visits

It’s easy to become distracted, nervous, and unable to concentrate or think as clearly as usual during a medical appointment – especially one for a pain problem. Health care providers typically have busy schedules and may often be pressed for time. If you feel pressure during the appointment it may be difficult to stay focused… Read more »

Over-the-counter pain relief: Part of your plan?

Pain is familiar to most of us for common reasons, like stubbing a toe or overdoing work in the yard. It often requires no other treatment other than protecting the area from further injury, and possibly, the use of pain medicines that are available without a prescription. These “over-the-counter” (OTC) pain relievers, also called “analgesics,”… Read more »

What’s the worst that could happen?

What is catastrophizing? Have you ever woken up with greater-than-normal back pain and thought, “Oh no! It’s going to be a bad pain day!” Your attention is completely on your physical pain and you can’t possibly get past the experience. Then, your mind goes on a journey of its own. Are the following thoughts familiar?… Read more »

Ways to reduce anxiety when you have chronic pain

Anxiety is a state of uneasiness and distress often about future uncertainties. It can also be a resulting symptom of stress. If you have chronic pain, your body and mind may feel under attack. As a result, you are likely to feel worried or apprehensive about many things. Feeling anxious about your health and your pain is… Read more »

Pain and depression: Break the cycle

It’s common for people with chronic pain to have depression. Depression can worsen and prolong pain. Pain and depression together can take control over a person’s thoughts and feelings with more pain leading to more depression, creating a cycle that is difficult to break. Not everyone with chronic pain is depressed, but about one out… Read more »

Teaming up with family and friends

It takes emotional energy to deal with pain and stay focused on your goals. A person who is well-rested and without work or family stresses, can deal with pain more constructively than someone who is exhausted and working through tough issues. One way to restore emotional energy is to spend time with supportive family members… Read more »

Online support groups: Getting connected

If you have chronic pain or a chronic illness, there are times when you might feel alone, depressed, or misunderstood. Maybe you’ve been accused of being overly dramatic, or “faking it” when you don’t feel well. This can be so upsetting! You know that you’re in pain and/or sick, but no one else seems to… Read more »

Does your health care provider understand your pain?

How can you communicate so that your health care provider really understands your needs? Good communication involves both speaking and listening. Some people are great speakers and poor listeners, while others are great listeners and poor speakers. If people don’t both speak and listen, communication will not be successful. How good communication helps patients Good communication helps… Read more »

Caught in the net? Online health information you can trust

On a typical day, millions of people type “back pain” or “migraine” into an Internet search engine. A 2011 Harris Poll found that three quarters (74%) of all adults have gone online at some time to look for health information, and that 60% have done so in the previous week. Are you one of them? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed… Read more »