A Message from the Coordinator

Patient Self-Care Resources for Chronic Pain Management


In my last Coordinator’s Message, I noted Oregon Pain Management Commission members were developing an online resource for individuals with chronic pain.  I am happy to announce that this new resource was posted on the OPMC website April 24.  You can access this document by clicking on the link “Patient Self-Care Resources” in the middle of the OPMC home page:  http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/Pages/pmc/index.aspx


Much of the material listed on the OPMC website was written or designed to assist healthcare professionals.  However, this new “Patient Self-Care Resources” document was developed for use by people with pain, their family members and others who support individuals with pain.  As I pointed out previously, this new informational tool was not designed to replace the expertise of a primary care provider or a pain management specialist.  However, this document is a free guide that provides written information about chronic pain management.   It also has approximately 90 imbedded web links to take the reader to other trusted online sites for additional information.


If you are newly diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, the “Patient Self-Care Resources” document can serve as an introduction to help find answers to some of the questions you might have.  One of the first links that you can use will take you to an Australian video that gives basic information about acute and chronic pain.  When you click on the arrow in the middle of the video feed, you will be able to watch a creative and entertaining video that provides information and “fast-motion drawings” that accompany the presentation: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/pages/pmc/understanding-pain.aspx

Perhaps you want to understand the impact of chronic pain on your family. 


No matter how long you have been living with chronic pain, there is an abundance of material in this document that can help you improve the quality of your life.  Numerous pain experts have pointed out the importance of a positive mental outlook.  They note that anxiety and depression can impact chronic pain in a negative way.  Perhaps you are looking for a tool to help you take a positive approach to address anxiety and depression.  You will find a link that takes you to the American Academy of Pain Medicine meditation and mindfulness video (see video #18):  http://www.painmed.org/pain-awareness/   You may want to use the link that takes you to free instructions on progressive relaxation, deep breathing, and guided imagery:  http://www.umm.edu/sleep/relax_tech.htm 


Good communication is important in all aspects of life, but it is especially so for individuals living with chronic pain.  If you are looking for insightful tips about communicating with your doctor, there are a number of related links including:  http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/quicktips/doctalk.htm  Perhaps you would like to learn more about the impact of chronic pain on friends and how to deal with the reactions of others.  To read this information and to listen to how others with chronic pain respond to these topics, you may use the link:                           http://www.healthtalkonline.org/chronichealthissues/Chronic_Pain/Topic/1624/    


Since so many people use the World Wide Web to locate information, the “Patient Self-Care Resources” provides some tips for staying informed online.  These tips will help you evaluate the truthfulness and accuracy of online information.  There are suggestions that tell you what to look for in a web address and the important details to take note of when you are navigating a web site.  Here is one of the links that you can use to evaluate web-based health sites:  http://nccam.nih.gov/health/webresources   


Because new information and new resources become available all of the time, the members of the Oregon Pain Management Commission plan to revise and update the “Patient Self-Care Resources” from time to time.  If you have the opportunity to explore this new online resource, please share your feedback with me:  kathy.m.kirk@state.or.us  



Kind Regards,

Kathy Kirk, RN