How To Cope With Pain Blog header image 1


Keep Your Medication Safe

February 10th, 2016 · No Comments

Many people with pain take several – or many, many – medications.  Often, this can include opiates and other medications that are dangerous for kids to accidentally take.  There is a new initiative aimed at keeping your medications safe and keeping kids safe from medications.

It’s called the Up and Away Initiative.  They write:

In an effort to protect children from accidentally ingesting prescription medications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the Up & Away initiative.  The goal of the initiative is to spread the message to put medication up, away and out of sight of children.  Approximately 60,000 young children are brought to the emergency room each year because they took medications that were left within reach.

The following flyers contain valuable information and tips for parents, grandparents, and other adults about what they can do to keep the young children in their lives from accidently ingesting medicines.  Please help spread this vital message by sharing these flyers.

Grandparents Tip Sheet
Medication Storage Tip Sheet

DO IT TODAY!!!

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

Pain Management Class 2016: Websites to Help You

February 8th, 2016 · No Comments

Each Monday this series of articles will feature pain management techniques to help you decrease and cope with pain.  It’s your at-home pain management class!

I hope you’re using pain management techniques regularly – or at least making progress getting into that habit!  But none of us is perfect, and we can all use a boost, right?

Here are some interesting websites that can give you that needed lift to start or stop whatever habit you’re focuing on, including regularly using your skills to decrease and cope with pain.

Sites that offer great information about sticking with your habit:

Websites and products to help you track your habit:

  • Walker Tracker:  Track how many steps you take each day.  Are you close to the suggested 10,000?
  • Goal Patrol makes a set of bracelets, 1 for each step or stage in meeting your goal.  When you reach 1 step, you change to another bracelet.  These are helpful reminders to see every day and motivators when you switch to your next-level bracelet.

Please share any other sites, tips or tricks that you’ve found helpful in the comments!

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

Pain Management Skills 2016: Breathing Exercises, Part 2

February 1st, 2016 · No Comments

Each Monday this series of articles will feature pain management techniques to help you decrease and cope with pain.  It’s your at-home pain management class!

So far we’ve looked at some breathing exercises and a basic relaxation exercise.  All of these techniques are intended to reduce pain through helping you be more relaxed.  Today we’ll look at 2 more breathing exercises.

There are several ways to use these exercises:

  • read through the exercises and then do them from memory (they don’t have to be done exactly as I’ve written them)
  • tape record the exercises yourself, then play them back for yourself to do (you can even do this on your smart phone)
  • have someone else read or record the exercises for you

Should you try different exercises or do the same one?  Either way is fine.  Some people find a favorite relaxation exercise and do just that one.  Others like to vary the ones they use.

Your assignment:  Do a breathing exercise at least once a day.

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

Pain Management Skills 2016: Relaxation Exercise

January 25th, 2016 · No Comments

Each Monday this series of articles will feature pain management techniques to help you decrease and cope with pain.  It’s your at-home pain management class!

Last week, we looked at breathing exercises.  This week you’re invited to try a basic relaxation exercise.  Both of these techniques are intended to reduce pain by helping you be more relaxed.

Relaxation Exercise

There are several ways to use this exercise:

  • read through the exercise and then do it from memory (it doesn’t have to be done exactly as I’ve written it)
  • listen to it on this website
  • tape record the exercise yourself, then play it back for yourself to do (you can even do this on your cellphone)
  • have someone else read or record the exercise for you

Your assignment:  Do the relaxation exercise at least once a day.

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

New CRPS / RSD Study is Recruiting Patients

January 21st, 2016 · No Comments

RSDSA is letting people know about a new medication study which is recruiting patients.  This is not a medication I’m familiar with, but thought it was worth passing on if you’d like to learn more about it.  There are research sites nationwide.  RSDSA  writes:

If you’re still experiencing significant pain following a recently broken or sprained hand, wrist, ankle, or foot, you may have developed CRPS.

Doctors are currently conducting a clinical trial of an investigational pain treatment for people diagnosed with CRPS-I. They want to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this investigational treatment, which is administered by a series of infusions.

To pre-qualify for this trial you must:

  • Be between 18 and 60 years of age
  • Have burning, stinging, or tearing pain deep inside the affected arm/hand or leg/foot
  • Have symptoms within the affected area as compare to the unaffected area that may include:
    • temperature variations
    • muscle weakness
    • swelling and sensitivity
    • skin, hair, and/or nail changes

The trial doctor will review other eligibility criteria with you. All trail-related visits, tests, and medications will be provided to you at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for trial-related time and travel may be provided.

To learn more about this trial, please call 888-641-4961, and visit StudyCRPSnow.

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

Pain Management Class: Breathing Exercises Part 2

January 19th, 2016 · No Comments

This is a series looking at ways to cope well with pain and how to get yourself to use helpful techniques regularly.  It’s your at-home pain management class!

Last week, you learned 2 relaxed breathing exercises.  Relaxed breathing can help you reduce pain by helping you relax.

stone with the word

Here are 2 more for you to try:

You can use these exercises in several ways:

    • read through the exercise and then do it from memory (it doesn’t have to be done exactly as I’ve written it)
    • tape record the exercise yourself, then play it back for yourself (you can even do this on your cellphone)
    • have someone else read or record the exercise for you

Your assignment:  Do at least 1 breathing exercise a day

Let me know how you do in the comments!

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

Pain Management Class: Breathing Exercises Part 1

January 11th, 2016 · 2 Comments

This is a series looking at ways to cope well with pain and how to get yourself to use helpful techniques regularly.  It’s your at-home pain management class!

Last week, we looked at what can help you be successful in using pain management skills and exercises.  Today we’ll start with the actual skills.

stone with the word

The first skills that I teach patients are relaxed breathing exercises.  These help you reduce pain by helping you relax.  Here are 2 for you to try:

You can use these exercises in several ways:

    • read through the exercise and then do it from memory (it doesn’t have to be done exactly as I’ve written it)
    • tape record the exercise yourself, then play it back for yourself (you can even do this on your cellphone)
    • have someone else read or record the exercise for you

Your assignment:  Do at least 1 breathing exercise a day

Let me know how you do in the comments!

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ 2 CommentsTags: 1

Pain Management Class 2016

January 4th, 2016 · 4 Comments

Happy New Year to everyone!!

At the start of each new year, I like to encourage you to add to your bag of skills which help you handle the challenge of pain.  Starting today and continuing each Monday, we’ll look at ways to cope well with pain and how to get yourself to use helpful techniques regularly.  It’s your at-home pain management class!

Before we jump into the actual skills, I want to take just a second to talk about changing behavior.  Getting yourself to regularly use your pain management skills.  If you think about it, it’s not as simple as just saying, yes, that would be good for me to do.  Think about exercising, stopping smoking or eating better.  Wanting to do those is one thing, but actually doing them is harder.  It’s hard to change our behavior!

Habit change experts talk about the “stages of change”, the idea that people are at different points in wanting to make changes in their behavior.  Find out where you are in these “Stages of Change”:

Stage 1:  Precontemplation In this stage, you’re not really even thinking about using pain management techniques to help yourself.

What should you do at this stage?  Write down what you’ve got to lose if you don’t try new exercises to help with pain.  You don’t need to make any commitment to do anything different – just explore your options.

Stage 2:  Contemplation In contemplation, you’re considering pain management techniques, but have not yet tried them.

What should you do at this stage?  Write down the pros and cons of trying some pain management skills.  What prevents you from trying some?  What’s the best outcome for you if they work?

Stage 3:  Preparation In this stage, you’ve decided to start using pain management exercises, but haven’t yet done so.

What should you do at this stage?  Write down what exercises you’d like to try.  Where will you learn some?  (When we get to specific exercises in this series of articles, you’ll get lots of help!)  When will you practice them?  Write out your plan of action, being as specific as possible.

Stage 4:  Action You’ve started to actively use pain management techniques.  Good for you!!

What should you do at this stage?  First, give yourself a cheer!  Then, write down what’s working for you, and what problems you’re running into.  Continue to work to incorporate doing exercises regularly into your life. Remember, it takes about 1 month for a new habit to take hold, so take extra care to keep practicing during this time!

Stage 5:  Maintenance You’re regularly practicing exercises.

What should you do at this stage?  Motivation is the key, here.  Figure out how to motivate yourself to continue using pain management skills.  Reward yourself regularly, and give yourself pats on the back.  Also, look at the times you don’t practice exercises as regularly as usual, and identify ways to keep going.

Stage 6:  Relapse If you relapse, you go back to not practicing your skills regularly.

What should you do at this stage?  First, don’t see it as a failure, but rather as an opportunity to learn.  You’re human… be kind to yourself.  Second, figure out where you are now in the stages, and start again as soon as possible.  And lastly, take some time to figure out how you lost your footing, and identify ways to avoid it happening again.

Those are the stages, but we’re not done quite yet…

Your challenge right now:

  • identify what stage you’re in
  • figure out 1 specific way to help yourself commit to using pain management skills regularly or to get yourself to actually do them
  • write down what you’ve identified for yourself at home and in the comments below

Next Monday we’ll jump into skills that will help you!

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ 4 CommentsTags: 1

Happy Holidays 2015

December 16th, 2015 · No Comments

I want to wish you all Happy Holidays!  As the song goes, I hope you all have better and better comfort and amazing amounts of joy.  I’ll see you again in 2016.

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1

Pain Pathways, Winter Issue 2015

December 14th, 2015 · No Comments

The winter issue of Pain Pathways is here.  Enjoy!

Pain Pathways

***To get every new article delivered to you for free the instant they're published, sign up for How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed.

→ No CommentsTags: 1