Pain Management Today Chronic Pain

Building a Chronic Pain Management Program That Works

The definition of chronic pain is a long lasting, more than 3 months or with some a lifetime of pain. I am one of the latter. Aside from my chronic pain issues I have noticed the normal aches and pains that come with aging. I’m 68 this year. They don’t seem to get better. It limits my daily activities and if I’m not careful my OTC Over the counter pain relievers are taken in a quantity that can do damage to my gut. I found the American Chronic Pain Association, when I was in a confused state seeking answers that I didn’t get from my VA primary care physician. 

The goal of multidisciplinary pain management is to increase function, improve quality of life and reduce one’s sense of suffering. The American Chronic Pain Association uses relaxation techniques as one of the necessary coping skills for dealing with pain. But when you are in a great deal of pain, it is difficult to relax. Relaxation, in part, is redirecting your thoughts off of your pain and on to something else that you enjoy. But, redirecting your thoughts can be difficult. To help you, take a moment, and to yourself say your alphabet and at exactly the same time count from one to 25. Give it a try; you might be surprised at the results. You see, you cannot do it. Why, because we have a one track mind. While we are thinking A, B, C, we cannot be thinking 1, 2, 3. So, during the time that you are trying very hard to accomplish this task you were not focused on your pain thus you reduce your sense of suffering, one of the goals of pain management. With practice you can redirect your thoughts off of your pain and on to other things. This is a distraction. I play harmonica and guitar. Playing or listening to music is great for me. I lose myself into the music. 3 to 5 minutes may not seem like much but with some practice this too can be a pleasant distraction lasting through a recital or a symphony. 

If you live in Chronic Pain and would like to join a support group or start your own please contact me Tim Harless, Advocate, ACPA  mobile 503 688 3500 or visit our website

We are currently holding Zoom meetings every Monday Night 7 pm. We are discussing making this a hybrid meeting. More on that at our FB page Portland ACPA.  I am a Co Facilitator. These are peer led support Groups.