This document from Health Canada crossed my desk a while back.
There IS a need for far better education of our friends, colleagues, families, and coworkers about chronic pain.
Talking about pain with my clients has shown that the population’s grasp of simple concepts such as how a muscle contracts, stretches and relaxes is sorely lacking. Apparently, something this basic is reserved for ‘specialized studies’? This black box approach leads many to unnecessary worry when they start hurting and lack the tools necessary to even visualize what might be going wrong “under the hood”, much less be able to describe how it feels to someone like me trying to treat them. In my opinion, something so basic as how a muscle contracts and relaxes should be taught starting around Grade 4 and continuously reviewed through subsequent grade levels.
I think we can and should do better than this.
And because pain is not about to fade away, there should be greater, not less benefit coverage for its treatment.
To assist in education, I’ve started a grass roots level approach to pain management: Touch Basics Guided Wellness sessions. I’ve started this to show individuals how to manage pain issues at home. The issues I cover are not overtly daunting, but do provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about managing issues at home and at work. I’ve also started offering Monday Massage (and Manual Osteopathy) Meetings to the general public in the hopes of demystifying much of what preoccupies therapist’s minds while they’re doing their work.
There is work to do to combat pain issues. We do, however, have the means available to us to fight back.