How to Live With Long Term-Pain

Pain is a natural part of life.  It is how our bodies warn us that something isn’t right.  Chronic pain, or long-term pain that doesn’t go away, can be tiring, both physically and mentally.  It affects how you live your daily life.  It can stop you from doing the things that you have to or love to do.  It can be especially difficult when it is paired with other health conditions.  Did you know that 20%, or 1 of every 5, Americans live with this type of pain?

Long-lasting pain is hard to manage since it’s different for everyone.  There isn’t a treatment that works for everyone.  It’s important to work with your doctor or health care provider to find the solution that is right for you.  People with chronic pain are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and have suicidal thoughts.  Make sure taking care of your mental health is part of your health plan.  Though long-lasting pain can be a challenge, it is still possible to live a happy and fulfilling life – even with severe pain.

Four Corners has hosted Living Well workshops for several years, including Living Well with Chronic Disease, and Living Well with Diabetes.  Sessions are helpful for people living with on-going conditions, or people who care for others with chronic conditions.  New to Four Corners is Living Well with Chronic Pain!  All of these workshops are evidence-based, self-management workshops through Stanford University.  Our leaders can help you learn tools that will help you with any on-going condition.  These are important life-skills that can be helpful to anyone!  You learn tools such as:

  • Other ways of dealing with pain or other symptoms
  • Easy exercises to help improve or maintain strength and energy (most of them can be done from a chair)
  • How to talk effectively with your health care team, friends, and family
  • Improve nutrition
  • Action-planning and Problem-Solving
  • How to build confidence in your ability to manage your health

Living Well workshops include a 2- or 2.5-hour session once each week for 6 weeks.  There are no tests or quizzes.  You will never be asked to do something you are not comfortable with, or are not able to do.  Trained leaders simply teach you how to use tools, and you get to decide what works for you!

While a leader keeps the class on track, participants have found that they learn so much from their peers.  You will find a group of 8-15 people who are experiencing issues that are similar to yours.  Support from fellow participants is just as valuable as the tools you will learn to use!

There is no cost to attend Living Well workshops.  You are welcome to attend, even if you have attended before, or if you have attended Chronic Disease or Diabetes versions of the workshop.  While each workshop uses similar tools, each version is a little bit different, to focus on the condition it is addressing.  One participant says, “I truly feel more confident that I can and will live successfully with my condition.  This is a whole-life program, not just for my disease.”

A Living Well with Chronic Pain workshop will begin mid to late February.  Location and dates will be determined soon.  If you are interested in any of our Living Well workshops, reach out to Four Corners at info@fourcorners.ne.gov, or by phone at (402) 362-2621.  Learn more about Living Well workshops, and our other upcoming events at https://fourcorners.ne.gov/community-ed-training/upcoming-events-workshops/.