Dealing with chronic pain

Posted June, 2008

How to handle it when you hurt

There's an important question we've got to answer on this page: how do you deal with chronic pain? There's an answer, of course, but first we'd like to cover a few other items we think are important.

There's no doubt about it, chronic pain is one of the great destroyers of human life. It's impossible to feel pain and joy simultaneously (being mutually exclusive, by definition). Therefore, it follows that if you're in pain all day or all night—or both—how can you ever enjoy anything?

Severe chronic pain is a "creeping corrosive." It gradually removes even the smallest pleasures from your life just as sandpaper strips paint from a board: scratch by scratch, little by little. Before you know it the board's bare, and slowly your life is filled with nothing but unhappiness as you focus exclusively on your pain. You try to minimize it, hide it, not talk about it...but it's right there at the center of all your thoughts.

This isn't dealing” at all, it's tolerance. Pain isn't something that should be tolerated. The old puritanical belief that pain "makes you tougher" was probably spawned because they didn't have much in the way of pain relief technology.

Eventually you may find yourself planning your day around your pain, avoiding things you think might aggravate it. You'll avoid things like a few hours spent on hard bleachers watching your kids play baseball, or an exuberant day spent hiking through the hills with your grand kids, or a warm summer's night of lovemaking with your spouse. Essentially all things but pain can fall by the side of life's road.

We think this is no way to spend your life. You have to live to have a life.

We believe that there is almost always some sort of solution for most forms of chronic pain. It's our goal to work with you to find out what will work for you and what makes good medical sense to do in your individual case. It's important that all prospective patients know our first and foremost goal is to find a medically sound method that will lessen or utterly remove pain as a factor in your life.

And only when you feel better will you be able to re-enter your normal” life and enjoy the things denied to you when pain dictated what you could and could not do.

So...back to that question: How do you deal with chronic pain?

Our answer: you get rid of it as soon as you can.

If it's at all possible, working closely and compassionately with our patients, this is what we seek to accomplish.

Next: be a prepared patient. It will help both of us solve your pain problem.