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How Connecting with Others Helps with Emotional and Physical Pain Management

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It is always a relief to discover that whether you are experiencing physical pain or emotional pain, you are not going through it alone. As a result, connecting with other people can be key to pain management, and helping you regain a joy for movement and life.

69 percent of people who suffer from body pain believe... their quality of life has decreased as a result, whether that is in their emotional wellbeing, social life, family life, or parenting.

There is no denying that living with pain can be really life changing, and potentially very isolating. Luckily there are plenty of ways out there to help deal with it.

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Healing Through Connection

It is only natural when we are going through physical pain or emotional pain to pull back, and lose touch with those around us. After all, it isn’t always easy to explain to your grandchild why you can’t come outside to play, or to your friends why you are cancelling on the weekly coffee.

The reality is, it is not a simple task to describe your pain to others, or the toll it can take on your life. You can find some tips... on how to find the words to describe your pain to others in our article on types of pain and how to talk about it.

While you are not wishing pain on anyone else, there can be comfort in knowing you aren’t going through it alone. When asked about the impact pain had on socialising:

  • 46% of people agree pain affected their ability to interact with others
  • 48% of people said pain prevented them from going out with friends
  • 54% of people said they had trouble enjoying time with family because of pain

So it is only natural that finding others who understand what you are feeling because they are also going through the same, can give an enormous sense of relief and connection. In fact various studies have even shown that people with stronger social connections, tend to see a reduction in pain levels.

Thankfully there are plenty of resources available in the United Kingdom if you want to connect and talk about living with pain with other people outside your family or friendship circle. There are pain support groups, clinics, and pain management programs that you can get involved with.

Spending time connecting with others in the same boat can be about sharing tips on physical pain management as well as emotional pain management, or simply talking about your experiences and knowing they will understand.

There is a bit more information on each of these here: 

Pain Support Groups

There are a number of support groups within the UK to help with long-term physical pain and emotional pain. They can offer self-help advice, and sometimes have helplines and groups where you can meet up and talk with other sufferers. For some, meeting up with others who are going through the same, or a similar kind of pain, can feel more beneficial than talking to a doctor, as that common cause can give a sense of connection.

  1. Action on Pain
    Support pages filled with advice and tips on pain management, as well as a dedicated ‘painline’ number.
  2. British Pain Society
    A group of professionals aiming to promote education, training and research in pain.
  3. Pain Concern
    A charity working to support and inform those in pain and those who care for them. Resources, plus a forum and helpline.
  4. Pain Support
    A social-focused site with a chat forum and contact club to make new friends, as well as articles with advice and pain relief techniques.
  5. Facebook
    Facebook have created groups especially for those suffering medical conditions, which can be a useful place to connect with others who are going through the same thing as you are.

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Pain Management Programs

Pain management programs focus on the idea of improving your quality of life despite living with pain, rather than trying to tackle and reduce your pain.

The programs might be intense residential programs, or run longer term... in community settings. They look at techniques such as:

  • Relaxation
  • Mindfulness
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Pacing yourself
  • Exercise
  • Managing flare-ups
  • Dealing with emotions
  • Increasing your confidence to cope

Pain Management Program clinics are only accessible through referral from your GP or another specialist. You will then be assessed, before being invited on the course.

Pain clinics

If you are struggling to manage your pain, you can ask your doctor to refer you to a pain clinic that would suit your needs. They are generally based in a local hospital, and offer a wide range of support and treatments, such as:

  • topical medicines
  • oral medicines
  • injections
  • exercise advice
  • manual therapy
  • psychological therapy
  • complementary therapy

Regaining connections with other people, can in turn help you rediscover the joy of movement. Equally, as movement becomes less painful, connecting with others can become easier. This means taking steps such as those laid out above, can be really beneficial for emotional and physical pain management, allowing you the freedom to really get back to living life to the full.

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Treatment by pain type

Learn all about the causes, symptoms, and pain treatments for the type of pain you’re experiencing so you can get back to doing those little things that bring you joy.