Perhaps the toughest part of struggling with chronic pain is the isolation. Many patients feel as if friends and family members just don’t understand what they are going through. Chronic pain sufferers may feel like a burden to their loved ones, or they may feel ignored or that their pain is minimized. At Pain Doctor, we understand that support and compassion are vital parts of your battle with chronic pain. To that end, we are happy to offer online support groups and tools to help you find the support and understanding you need.
The Pain Doctor forums are a place where you can meet other people struggling with chronic pain just like you. In these forums, chronic pain sufferers discuss treatment options, how to cope with bad pain flare-ups, ideas for treatments and new research, and general topics about family and friends.
You can post a topic to the forum, asking for help or advice, any time of day. This can be helpful if chronic pain is keeping you up at night and you need support. The more people who join the forums, the better the resource becomes. Not all online support groups are able to really understand what you are going through, but the Pain Doctor chronic pain forums are focused totally on chronic pain. We understand!
Pain Doctor’s Faces of Pain page is growing every day. People just like you sign in, post their pictures, and tell their story. The idea behind Faces of Pain is to humanize chronic pain, to help others see that it is a very real condition that affects real people. Many of the people in the Faces of Pain gallery continue to do extraordinary things. Some people post a picture of their worst days of pain; others post what inspires them to keep going or a picture of the way they want to be. The stories behind the pictures are powerful, and we invite you to join us in the gallery.
Pain-spiration is another great online support group to build your online community while sharing resources and ideas for living with chronic pain. Pain Doctor posts ideas, infographics, recipes, and more to this page. We invite you to share the things that keep you motivated and going strong. Sometimes the hardest part of chronic pain is running out of ideas or ways to take care of yourself on the most painful days. Pain-spiration tries hard to provide a great place to re-engage and start again.
Come see what over 37,000 people are talking about: Pain Doctor’s Facebook chronic pain support page. If you ever needed to know that you are truly not alone in your struggle as a chronic pain patient, this is the place to find community. Chronic pain caregivers are represented here as well, but this page is mainly for other chronic pain patients to connect with each other.
As always, staying safe online is a high priority when looking for a pain support group. The anonymity of an online group means that people may be more comfortable responding inappropriately or in a way that takes advantage of vulnerable people. All of Pain Doctor’s online support offerings are moderated and maintain a civil and appropriate comment policy so that you feel safe in your interactions through our platforms. For teens and adolescents, look for online pain support groups that are tailored to their specific needs.
Finally, Pain Doctor is on Pinterest, finding and pinning resources for chronic pain. We feature boards for healthy, pain-free recipes, pain medicine news, and handy infographics to give you quick, easy-to-read information on everything from staying cool in the summer with chronic pain to helping others understand what fibromyalgia is.
Our “Inside Pain” board brings together all of our blogs in one easy place. Find information and resources on things like:
- Rethinking fitness and diet
- The benefits of chiropractic treatment
- Mind-body approaches to chronic pain
And 314 more articles with great advice and information on diet, treatments, exercise, and research.
Pain Doctor moderates and monitors all of its online support groups so you can feel safe and comfortable. It is important to protect yourself and your family while online, so follow these simple tips when browsing any online support group at any site:
- Don’t reveal too many personal details: Because you do not know the people you are interacting with, it is important not to reveal too many personal details. This doesn’t mean you cannot share your story; in fact, it’s important to feel like you can get support by doing so. Your exact location and any other specific information doesn’t have to be a part of that.
- If you feel uncomfortable, say something: Pain Doctor’s forums are moderated, and you can always report any interactions that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Practice offline safety: If you “meet” someone in an online support group (with Pain Doctor or any other) and decide to meet them in person, make the meeting in a public place, and let other people know where you will be going. Do not meet at your own house or in a secluded area.
Online support groups can be a great way to get help coping with the everyday struggle of chronic pain. Which Pain Doctor groups have you become a part of?
Image by mkhmarketing via Flickr