Self Management Skills

Am I ready to return to work?

Going back to work Going back to work after a painful injury or illness can be exciting and scary. Dealing with pain can be a process, and going back to work is often a process as well. While you may be able to do your job again, you can’t expect to jump right in as… Read more »

Knowing when a treatment is “risky”

Imagine this situation. At a healthcare visit you received a prescription for a new medication. You talk with a friend, who says that you should worry about the long-term effects of this medicine. Then you hear of two people who took the medication. It helped one person, but the other person had to stop it… Read more »

Bolstering your resiliency

What is resiliency? Think of being resilient as the ability to bounce back in the face of difficulties. For people with chronic pain, it means not letting symptoms interfere with living a full life. Resiliency also may make you feel better; experts have found that people with positive outlooks often experience less pain and stress…. Read more »

The perks and pitfalls of caffeine

Extra-large coffee, black! Grande vanilla latte! Double cappuccino! Cup of tea with two bags! Sound familiar? You might count on caffeine to keep you alert and get you through the day – but have you ever thought about the other ways caffeine might affect you? Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in many foods including… Read more »

Get moving with the whole family

Most health care providers agree that staying physically active is a good thing for people who are living with chronic pain.   While people may think “if it hurts, rest it,” many pain specialists advise that people with chronic pain participate in some form of regular physical activity.  This is because when the parts of the… Read more »

Pain and music: Dealing with pain to the beat of a different drummer

Sometimes, pain persists in spite of whatever treatment health care providers use to relieve it.  While it has become fairly common to add other treatments like relaxation, meditation, and massage, along with standard medical approaches to pain management, music is a less well known non-medical method for helping relieve pain. Actually, using music as a… Read more »

Managing chronic pain at work

Benefits of working Besides providing a regular source of income, working is important to most people in several ways.  People need to feel productive.  Being able to work boosts self-esteem and helps you to feel at your productive best. The challenges of work, a job well done, and interactions with co-workers, can be rewarding in… Read more »

Using chronic pain as an opportunity for personal growth

Chronic pain is not something you have to experience passively.  Part of taking an active role in coping with your pain is finding a way to use it to learn more about yourself. How do you begin to make sense of what it means to live in pain?   For many people, living with chronic pain… Read more »

Laugh for the health of it

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” -Proverbs 17:22 “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility” -James Thurber “Laughter may be a form of courage” -Linda Ellerbee “If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” -Bill Cosby What’s funny about pain? If you’re thinking there’s nothing funny about being in pain,… Read more »

When you’ve had ENOUGH: Pain that won’t let go

Have you ever felt like Howard Beale in the 1976 movie Network? When Howard decided that he couldn’t take any more frustration and emotional pain in his life, he threw open a window and yelled (to paraphrase): I’m MAD and I’m not going to take it anymore!! By today’s standards, yelling from a window is pretty tame –… Read more »