Do You Need a New Approach to Your Chronic Pain?

Do You Need a New Approach to Your Chronic Pain?

-Have you been told that your pain is due to your age?
-Have you been told that you will be in pain for the rest of your life?
-Have you been told to keep stretching and your pain will go away?

You need a new approach to your pain with occupational therapy.

Chronic pain is a reality for nearly 1 in 5 Canadians yet there is a lot of misinformation and stigma around the condition.
Individuals with chronic pain face many obstacles trying to balance their day-to-day activities of going to work/school, housework, personal hygiene/grooming, leisure activities and socializing with friends and family members all while enduring symptoms of pain. However, living with chronic pain doesn’t mean you will be in pain for life! With proper education on various pain management techniques and use of adaptive aids, it is possible to go back to enjoying the activities you love without compromising your health and well-being.
Chronic pain in this subset of the population can have detrimental impacts on healthy development that can lead to poor health outcomes later on in life. Chronic pain affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Addressing the illness early on can ensure that symptoms are well-managed so that individuals regain their independence and participate in their daily activities. If symptoms remain untreated, it can have a significant impact on a person’s health and well-being.

Who are Occupational Therapists?

You may wonder how an OT can help someone living with chronic pain? It is important to first define what is meant by chronic pain and how it impacts an individuals quality of life.
What is chronic pain and how can it impact everyday living?
Symptoms of chronic pain include joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue, poor sleep, loss of stamina (due to decreased activity), soreness which are caused by a number of conditions…
Chronic pain not only impacts your physical health, but also has psychosocial implications resulting in emotional distress (anxiety, depression, irritability, frustration), poor sleep, job loss, significant functional loss and inability to engage in everyday activities.
OTs are uniquely trained to apply their knowledge on musculoskeletal conditions, neuroscience, and mental health to evaluate the impact of chronic pain on a client’s ability to engage in meaningful daily activities and provide them with personalized treatment plans to manage their symptoms.
Why should someone living with chronic pain see an Occupational Therapist?
OTs are specialized in helping individuals return to their daily activities, habits, and routines that are often put on hold and become difficult with a condition like chronic pain
It is important to remember that all members of your healthcare team including your family doctor, physiotherapist, psychologist, speech-language pathologist, kinesiologist and others play a fundamental role in managing chronic pain.

With that being said, OTs are specialized in helping individuals return to their daily activities, habits, and routines that are often put on hold and become difficult with a condition like chronic pain. Intense pain flare-ups are a common issue associated with increased physical activity and/or stress. An OT is best equipped to prescribe adaptive aids and suggest pacing strategies to ensure clients return to their daily routines with confidence while preventing and reducing the risk of flare-ups.
OTs can find innovative ways to help clients manage their meaningful everyday activities. Your OT will work closely with you to identify challenges in your daily activities and incorporate strategies into your daily routines and habits to help overcome barriers to independent living.

Our OTs are masters educated professionals and have completed post-graduate workshops in chronic pain management from the CAOT and Pain BC. Additionally, our OTs are expected to keep up to date with the latest pain research and attend monthly educational forums to enhance their knowledge and skillset.