What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more than 6 months or longer than the time expected for tissue healing. Distinction is made clinically between cancer pain and non-cancer pain, as cancer pain usually worsens as the cancer spreads and increasing medications are required for palliative care. Chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), on the other hand, is a condition where pain perception is driven by persistent pain signals coming from specific areas of the body and/or there is amplification of pain perception in the central nervous system of the brain.
It is important to appreciate that pain is an inherently subjective experience and the emotional state of an individual has a great effect on the perception of pain. Fear, anger and shame are commonly associated with amplification of chronic pain.
Chronic pain has major debilitating effects that have major repercussions for the individual, their family life and ability to be productive at work. It has been estimated that 18% of Canadians suffer from chronic pain. Employees with chronic pain miss an average of 28.5 workdays a year, which is more than four times higher than the national annual average for work absenteeism, which is seven days. Chronic pain patients are often prescribed opioid medications as a solution that can become part of the problem because of their abuse liability and dependence (addiction) potential.
What is chronic pain counselling?
At HUM, we provide outpatient assessment and counselling for chronic pain. Treatment is tailored to your needs and can include medication review and management, detox/withdrawal management as needed, one on one therapy, group therapy, intensive outpatient program.
Please call or email us for more information and we can provide guidance on how to get started.