What is Chronic Pain?
There are many definitions for Chronic Pain, but essentially it is pain that remained after an injury is healed or should be healed. It is different from acute pain and needs to be treated differently. The nervous system is much more involved in chronic pain. Chronic pain is a holistic condition and can be affected by many things, such as physical activity, problems within muscles and joints, nutrition, sleep, stress, temperature, past trauma, emotions, and thought patterns.
Chronic pain is often increased or caused by an overactive nervous system. The body uses pain to alert you to danger, but for many with chronic pain, the alert system is extra sensitive and either overreacting to stimuli (intense pain from stepping off a curb) or reacting to stimuli that are not dangerous (seam of pants rubbing against leg with no skin damage). With Chronic Pain, a person often has to pace themselves and plan ahead to avoid pain increases.
How can counselling help with Chronic Pain?
Counselling by helping a person figure out how to cope with the pain, plan strategies to minimize pain increases, figure out priorities, change thought patterns, identification of the cause behind pain increases, manage emotions, create boundaries to better manage pain, learn skills to help them communicate their needs, and find validation for the struggles with chronic pain.
Pain BC is a non-profit based in BC. It is has a huge number of resources for self-management of pain, education opportunities for health professionals, and supports for those with chronic pain. It is a truly amazing website to support those with chronic pain.
Tame the Beast https://www.tamethebeast.org
Tame the Beast is a website that is a collaboration between a pain scientist (LM), a pain physiotherapist (DM) and a professional communicator (SC). It shares a number of pain stories as well as providing pain education.
Pain Revolution https://www.painrevolution.org
Pain Revolution is an Australian website that has a lot of information for pain education, as well as handouts explaining pain. It has a good number of resources on it.
Pain Canada https://www.paincanada.ca
Pain Canada is a resource for Canadians, both those with pain and those professionals treating people with chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans https://www.veteranschronicpain.ca
Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans is has monthly webinars about chronic pain, resources for those with chronic pain and those supporting those with chronic pain.
Rethink Chronic Pain – Dr Gaetan Brouillard
Rethink Chronic Pain is a book written by Dr Gaetan Brouillard, who is a Pain Specialist based in Montreal. This book takes on a multifaceted approach to pain including an explanation of pain, the biological and environmental causes of pain, nutritional influences of pain, natural supplements for pain, ways to treat pain through complementary health approaches (reflexology, acupuncture, etc.), and psychology. It is great in offering some ideas of what next to try and educating on what could be going on with your pain situation.
Change Your Brain, Change Your Pain – Mark Grant
Mark Grant is a Psychotherapist that has specialized in EMDR treatment of chronic pain. This book is great of educating the reader on the connection between chronic pain and trauma. It also offers 15 audio downloads that readers can use to help heal their pain. Headphones are required to get the most out of the audio tracks as they are set up for bilateral stimulation (different sounds to each ear). There are a number of tracks that are set up for using with a trusted partner, for those tracks you may not get as much out of the experience if you don’t have a trusted partner.
Explain Pain – David S. Butler & G. Lorimer Moseley
Explain pain is an excellent book by one of the top researchers in chronic pain. It does a good job on explaining the mechanisms behind chronic pain and what adjustments a person with chronic pain can make to reduce their level of pain.
Recommended Youtube Channels
Dr Andrea Furlan https://www.youtube.com/c/DrAndreaFurlan
Dr Andrea Furlan is a pain specialist in Toronto and has many educational videos about pain on her Youtube channel.
Madeleine Eames https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoNQEC-w_DlFPTiypnhcARQ
Madeleine Eames is a psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher in Kelowna, BC and has many videos about the chronic pain and psychological and mindfulness resources.
Recommended YouTube Video