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Wellness

Why You Should Give Someone Your Clozes

Every year it is common to hear from families that a therapist would use a specific technique in treatment with their loved one. The problem is, these techniques come with a hefty price tag – typically in the hundreds of dollars. If you are in need of a professional to work with your loved one, it is worth trying out one of the many home-based therapies that are available, even when they don’t come cheap.

I am a nurse by profession and have worked many cases where I had clients struggling with chronic pain and no longer wanted to talk about it, much less try to treat it. So when I started working with patients who have chronic pain (pain that is a constant problem for them), I noticed that a lot of them were in their 30s and early 40s. The main characteristic that I noticed in the patients they would take to their home was their severe and constant pain. I immediately thought of the word chronic. I decided to look up the definition of chronic pain. Once I did that, I realized that it doesn’t mean what you think it means, and it can manifest in any number of ways. The definition of chronic that I found says that the pain you are experiencing today does not need to be caused by something that happened one year ago. And it does not have to hurt a lot from time to time. It could be happening with an occasional nudge or a small jolt. I found myself asking, “How many people get that kind of pain from something that they can see, feel and hear on a day to day basis? Do you know who they are? Do you know how they feel? Do you know how they live their days day to day? Do you know who they are? Do you know what they do about it?” I realized that I was not looking deep enough.

The first thing I heard from a great number of these patients was that they would go to get a job, get married, buy a house and never come home, or if that happened, it wasn’t worth it because they got a headache. This was especially true of people that came from backgrounds where they were taught that pain is an inevitable part of life and to not let it stop them from living their lives, or that if they get it, if they deal with it well. They also never did mention how their life was better for it. So many times, the pain came in waves, not so much because of the chronic, but because of other stresses like the economic recession, or the death of loved ones. In the past, the pain would only be worse if someone was sick or injured.

When my co-workers and I started to treat the pain of people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, we didn’t try to use any new therapeutic techniques on them because we had a feeling that they were not aware of what they were experiencing. We tried to encourage them to tell their stories and share what was happening with other family members or caretakers. We tried to use our own pain and our own experiences with cancer as inspiration. When I think back on what happened over that period of time, I still have vivid memories of my co-worker coming home with a bag full of books on chronic pain. We were a team. We were the team of patients. I still look back on those weeks as a time of growth and transformation for us.

There are three main elements to a treatment of chronic pain: pain, medication and education.

Pain – is defined as “any physical pain that is not from trauma, or from an injury”. It starts when pain is experienced, and when it is experienced, this is called an event. Pain is usually caused by an abnormal response to the body’s natural signals. So it could be if the nerve endings around a joint suddenly become hypersensitive to the environment around them, or if the body’s immune systems are fighting a virus as they normally would, rather than responding to the infection.

Medication – is defined as “any substance or therapy used to treat or prevent any pain. As a result of this the body experiences changes in physiology. Such actions usually are prescribed by a doctor”. So it also goes without saying that, in addition to any pain, the medications needed to manage it, such as anti-inflammatories, are also prescribed.

Education – is defined as “any action or practice that seeks to address the issues that are associated with the diagnosis of pain.”