Although chronic pain affects a significant portion of the population, no medical intervention works for every pain patient. Therefore, chronic pain group support has expanded, and patients are gaining knowledge and support and experiencing increased activity levels and improved mental health.
Because these groups are led by medical professionals, group members learn about their diseases and new treatments. They also gain treatment feedback from other patients. In addition, they discuss the social, financial and healthcare resources that are available for pain patients.
These groups are safe places where members can practice sharing their pain with their family members and coworkers and learn how to ask their employers for special accommodations.
Pain patients may not feel understood by their medical teams and loved ones. However, pain group members share their stories openly in a nonjudgmental and empathetic environment, so participants feel accepted and understood.
Group members also share their concerns, including their financial hardships and social isolation, with each other. Members may also share or suggest mental, physical or social activities to cope with chronic pain.
Participants gain social engagement in support groups and are encouraged to try new social activities. Members are able to identify their values and the behavior changes necessary to pursue those values.
Social activities that improve their healthy behaviors may also relieve some of the pressure the participants place on their loved ones. Group members may also volunteer to help others cope with medical issues.
Although the participants may discuss treatments, they also encourage each other. They realize that it’s not weak to ask for help. Through group counseling, they begin to understand their fears and the changes they need to make to live with chronic pain. The loneliness, fear and fatigue that may cause a negative outlook are addressed, creating new positive feelings, such as motivation, empowerment and hope.
Experience the benefits of chronic pain support groups, including gaining knowledge and support, encouragement to remain active and improved mental health.