There will be a free Chronic Pain Self-Management Program held in Lake Cowichan Curling Rink on Thursdays from 12:30p.m. to 3 p.m. beginning April 5 and ending May 10.
This program is geared towards not only people that suffer from chronic pain, but caregivers and family members who may need information on how to deal with a loved one that is suffering.
Sue Lindstrom and Jean MacGregor, are local residents that have been trained by the University of Victoria’s Center on Aging Department as co-leaders and have experienced chronic pain themselves. They would like to stress that this is not just for elderly people who may suffer from a painful disease. “It can be pain from disease, a car accident, anything,” says Lindstrom. The program specifically targets any person experiencing prolonged musculoskeletal discomfort. This includes neck, shoulder and back pain, whiplash injuries, pelvic pain, post-surgical pain lasting longer than 6 months, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and more.
Originally formed as a volunteer program, facilitators and the University of Victoria alike are hoping that it will become a mandatory part of our medical plan for individuals diagnosed with chronic pain. “This provides an avenue to learn how to deal with it (the pain) through things such as meditation, exercise, resting and medications.” says Lindstrom.
Evaluation studies of the program have found that individuals who participated had seen positive changes within three months and that costs of chronic pain were reduced due to the education given during instruction. Both Lindstrom and MacGregor noted that the difference in the individuals that participated in the last session was extraordinary. “Before,” says MacGregor “Sue was my hero because she suffers much more pain than I do, but by the end of that class, I saw ten more heroes sitting at the table.”
Individuals wishing to attend must register and can do so through the Lake Cowichan Sports Arena or by calling the University of Victoria’s Centre on Aging at 1-866-902-3767. Commitment to participate for the six week duration is required. Participants will receive two books which supplement the program as well as a CD that contains easy to follow exercises to help reduce pain. Remember that this clinic is free of charge, and has the ability to change your life.