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Chronic Pain: Are you talking about it?
Last review: 08/12/10   J.R. Rogers
Chronic Pain: Are you talking about it?
By J.R. Rogers

I recently read some interesting studies about chronic pain. And of course, those who suffer from osteoarthritis can be it that situation.

Frankly speaking, those of you who follow the recommendations we have made over the years, often find that pain is not an issue any longer. That is certainly the goal you should be looking to achieve.

Talking about Pain
The idea is to get your pain under control and if you do not, studies have concluded that constantly discussing it only makes it worse. Those findings seem to say that it focuses your attention on pain and for that reason, it actually makes matters worse.

This is interesting because when you have family or friends who get into these discussions it tells me that you should move the conversation to something else. In my personal experiences with this, I simply make it clear that we should talk about something else.

That may offend some people. Of course, that may be a case of "misery loves company." And, you might think about that. If you find yourself in such a conversation, do a "mental check" on how your pain is doing (if you have any) and try my approach. In other words, if you find this happening to you, put an end to it by shifting the conversation to something more positive.

The "Over-Caring Syndrome"
There was another thing that has been observed here. If you have a spouse or other loved one that tends to focus on your pain too much, that also tends to increase it. In brief, the studies concluded that these situations are better if the individuals are more "supportive and positive" rather than offering to help and assist you.

All of this makes sense to me. I was in that situation a long time ago and found that I was handling things better by dealing with my pain issues myself. That also means that even if you have pain there are ways to direct your life to handle it without someone else in the picture.

That is not to say that if you have pain issues that you should not discuss them. In fact, the same studies have concluded that sharing your pain management issues is actually a good thing. What you do want to avoid are the two situations discussed above.

In summary, don't dwell on pain and do not let other enable dependency.

I think we all like to think of ourselves as independent in our ability to handle our lives. In most cases you can deal with arthritis. For those who are following the recommendations that have been offered in these chronicles, most have had great success.

We do our best to provide timely advice and assistance however we can. It has been a successful formula even for those who have had some bad experiences with OA.

See you next time.