chronic pain treatment – making it work for you

Chronic pain treatment, just like depression treatment, is a very big area, and it can be hard to understand.

The right approach to chronic pain treatment can depend on so many things, such as

* what type of pain you are dealing with
* how long the pain has persisted
* what your personal stance is towards painkillers and other medication (and towards specific types of medication)
* the quality of your relationship with your health care givers
* your insurance and/or financial situation
* what the rest of your life looks like
* how the people around you feel about your condition
* what you think of alternative/complementary healing approaches
* your general state of physical and emotional health
* the quality of your spiritual life
* – and so on …

Is chronic pain treatment the same as chronic pain management? For some people that’s the case. There are those whose pain will never completely go away, and the best way to handle it is to find ways to have the pain “meter” as low as possible, to look for moments when it’s almost gone, and to manage the pain as best as possible when it starts acting up. One way of reaching those goals is to use relaxation and meditation.

Before you roll your eyes, saying, “I’ve heard this all before”, please hear me out!

First of all, in my opinion there are too many people who receive the recommendation that they just have to “live with the pain”. Yes, there are people who, after quite a bit of research, end up having to do that. But there are lots and lots of other people who can have complete or almost complete pain relief.

I remember the case of a woman who spent years close to suicide because of horrible migraines and back pain – until we met and together we worked on finding a doctor with the right approach to chronic pain treatment, who helped her find the right combination of medication. Within weeks, she was back at work. Chronic pain is very complicated – but that doesn’t mean it has to be passively accepted.

Second … if you suffer from chronic pain and have tried relaxation and meditation or similar approaches and it hasn’t worked – ask yourself why. I’m going to be honest with you – I’ve met lots of people who tried these approaches to chronic pain treatment once or twice, maybe even without following all of the instructions and said, “It doesn’t work.”

This can be a bit like saying, “I’ve tried baking bread twice and it didn’t work, so obviously baking bread isn’t a good idea. Yes, I did leave out the salt but hey, it’s just one ingredient, what difference could that possibly make?” Just like baking bread, meditation and relaxation take time and experience and until you know what you’re doing, you don’t know which ingredients of the “recipe” you can leave out.

In the next instalment, we’ll talk about how you can make meditation and relaxation work for you.

In the meantime, if you’d like to talk about your issues around chronic pain, send me an email or call me at 604-618-0830 and we’ll see what we can do for you.

22 thoughts on “chronic pain treatment – making it work for you

  1. Noni Kateus

    This is such a helpful and information-rich site. Chronic pain and all its ramifications ended my nursing career and the alternative office careers after that. While learning to ignore a high level of pain, I still could not ignore the fatigue accompanying it. I was not financially prepared to quit working early, so I needed to supplement my social security but a traditional job was out of the question. Being active and keeping your brain busy are so important (at least to me) in dealing with chronic pain. Ideally, I needed to find a free and legitimate work from home job; obvious benefits of a work at home job for me (or anyone else with chronic pain issues) make a long list. Seems to me that many workers suffering chronic pain would be better off away from the stresses of the traditional office setting. Even doing telephone work from home might be a workable solution for someone experienced in office work. At any rate, I know that my pain level is improved (or my perception is better) when I can concentrate on something, and making some $$ is an important bonus. I will surely be reading your posts for a long time!
    Thanks again for sharing your insights.

  2. isabella mori

    hi noni, and welcome. going to your web site, it looks like you found something that works for you.

    work is such an important part of a person’s life; it can be devastating when that’s taken away.

  3. isabella mori

    hi steven, and thanks for visiting!

    yes, people can live with many things. that’s both a blessing and a curse, isn’t it? how well do they live with it? what does that mean to their whole life experience?

    answers to that can only be given by each individual …

  4. Tammy (I hate rain headaches) Jackson

    I found a good management physician and be up front as to what happened. The American Academy of Pain Management endorsed this type of contract in 1998. (I have included a link below)

    It is important when being treated with opiods that you deal with just one source. If you find that the current pain medication is helping – talk to your attending physicia

    Tammy (I hate rain headaches) Jackson’s last blog post..By: Life-Problem-Solver

  5. dcsimo


    I have heard EMDR is a good way to manage pain. I just used and reviewed a CD put out by Mark Grant, a psychologist from Sydney. The CD is based on EMDR techniques, and even though the it is not specifically dealing with pain, I know Mark specialises in treating pain through EMDR. So if you are interested I am pretty sure there is a link on my blog to his site


    dcsimo’s last blog post..Review of “Calm and Confident” an audio CD from Mark Grant

  6. Whiplash

    I am 18 months down the road from a Whiplash injury and still have pain issues 24/7 although they are now improving rapidly after I stumbled across the right treatment program. I went from being a fitness fanatic to being a depressed couch potato but I refused to accept my pain and tried to focus on all the good things in my life (like my 2 year old daughter) to keep me going. The key is to stay positive and keep moving forward and if one treatment doesn’t bring the desired results…try another, there is one out there that is right for you. Accept that your recovery will take some time and that you will have some lows along the way but focus on each small improvement as another step to reaching full health again. Good luck!

  7. Dr Graeme Teague

    As someone who works with chronic back pain sufferes, I can only applaud your article. Well done.

    And to those readers, please take the advice offered, don’t put up with pain, try many ways to ease and remvoe it. Meditation is very effective, as is Acupressure/Acupuncture and many other eastern approaches. I try to teach my cleints many self help techniques to remove their chronic back pain. Unless you actually do something nothing will change.

    Once again great article. All the best
    Dr Graeme Teague
    Back Pain Relief News

  8. Herb L

    I have found that smelling lavender essential oil helps me fall asleep when I am not feeling well because of pain in my back.

  9. Pain Relief

    Well done article, some times we dont follow instructions correctly and then blame the technique. I found that we need to keep positive when dealing with chronic pain keep on trying even when it seems like its not working and be open to new techniques.

  10. Online Nursing Degree

    My mum was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Around the same time, she started experiencing pains in her arms, thighs and legs. My dad says it’s worse in the mornings.

    My parents are of the generation that believes in prayer, hope and medication – not meditation. I really want to help my mum, but I think it might take some persuading to get her to open up to less conventional ways of healing. I’ll try though.

    Thanks for this post.

    take care…

  11. Whiplash Neck Injury

    It’s scientific fact that visualization techniques stimulate associated muscles and nerves in the human body; professional coaches will often ask athletes to visualize a race, for example, by running in it “in their head”. Monitoring brain activity during such a visualization shows that the brain reacts in the same way as it would if the race were real. Why, therefore, do people doubt the power of the human mind in terms of healing?

  12. Dr Graeme Teague

    For those with Chronic pain, you must use all the advice in this article. Mediation and the many other relaxation based therapies will help reduce your pain, make life a lot more enjoyable and numerous other benefits.

    Taking medication constantly or just “putting up with it” will not help you one bit. You need to look forward and to start using the many self help techniques available to you now.

    Great article, I will send my clients over to make sure they read this.

    All the best
    Dr Graeme Teague
    Back Pain Relief Secrets

  13. Sandford Tuey

    I wish it was as easy as meditation to control or elimintat my pain. Even though I do meditate it does not always control the chronic pain and nausea/vomiting that accompanies mine.

    Hard to meditate when you are puking, which is the main reason I have to go to a hospital because my pain medication won’t stay down. Of course, my situation is an extreme one and I still try to use whatever I can to reduce my pain as much as possible.

    I just wish it worked for me better.

    Sandford Tuey

  14. Online Nursing Graduate

    Managing chronic pain means changing beliefs and behaviours across every part of life. Unlike taking medications, or changing diet, chronic pain management involves self regulating thoughts, changing expectations, adjusting goals, modifying activity patterns, expressing to others why things are being done differently. Constantly reviewing how much energy is available against what needs to be done, because ‘overdoing it’ has such a high physical and emotional cost.

  15. PT Health

    i found your blog very interesting especially how you explain the chronic pain treatment. My suggestion is, better try the Chinese way of treating a pain like this. Try Acupuncture, it is a natural way of treating this chronic pain. Thank you very much

  16. Jennifer Goodman

    Hi. I just noticed that your blog looks like it has a few code errors at the very bottom of your site’s page. I’m not sure if everybody is getting this same error when browsing your website? I am employing a totally different browser than most people, referred to as Opera, so that is what might be causing it? I just wanted to make sure you know. Thanks for posting some great postings and I’ll try to return back with a completely different browser to check things out!

  17. isabella mori

    thank you, as soon as i have some time (am really busy with mental health camp right now), i will look into this. thanks for drawing this to my attention!

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