Chronic Pain Self-Management

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I attended leader training for another evidence-based healthy aging workshop. This one was Chronic Pain Self-Management, which is a variant (and very similar to) Chronic Disease Self-Management, developed by Stanford University. So the training was easy, and a little boring, since so much was similar to material I already knew and have worked with a lot. But I’m glad to have the additional skill. It’s not clear when I will be actually teaching a class. Springwell doesn’t support this topic as yet, but I have notified the other agencies I’ve worked for, so hopefully an opportunity will come along soon.

Topics included fitness and exercise, pacing activity and rest, using your mind to manage symptoms, muscle relaxation, dealing with depression and fatigue, better sleep, communication, healthy eating, medications,, making treatment decisions, and working with your health care professionals. As with all of these workshops, making your own weekly action plan, and learning to problem-solve and deal with barriers is a big part of the workshop.

I really liked the exercise routine included in this workshop, which is called the “Moving Easy Program”. It’s a very short and simple routine that almost anyone can do, at least to some level, which just goes through and uses each part of your body in turn, taking it through a range of motion. I think it would be great to do in the morning to loosen up all your stiff muscles. The idea is to show people that even if they hurt, they can do a little bit of exercise.

Speaking of my own chronic pain, things are in very good shape just now. It has been a little over a week since the corticosteroid injection in my hip, and for the last few days I’ve been pretty much pain free. I’m looking forward to trying to take a longish walk once the weather moderates, to see if the improvement holds up, but so far it’s been very encouraging.