Active listening can help friends, family, and work colleagues listen to, become aware of, and be compassionate toward the feelings of individuals living with pain. Strengthening relationships with your most trusted network, rather than removing yourself to isolation, is critical to effectively managing pain.
A support network can help individuals who are feeling isolated, misunderstood, or depressed. By empathizing, sharing a positive outlook, and engaging in social activities, individuals living with pain may benefit from a reduction in their perception of pain.
Helping with physical activities such as laundry, vacuuming, and grocery shopping can provide pain relief and give an individual time for physical and mental rehabilitation.
Pain is a condition where many symptoms are invisible to others. Validation communicates an understanding and acceptance of others’ experiences. Both are critical to building a trusting and supportive relationship for individuals experiencing life with pain.
Patient education and self-management are critical to helping clinical decision making that results in the best pain management outcomes. The more information that you can share with your physician (eg, pain journal, symptom awareness), the sooner you are likely to find the right diagnosis and treatment plan.
The more you learn, the more you can help
Visit PainScale.com for articles on how you can better support family and friends living with pain.