How Do You Explain Chronic Pain to Someone Who Doesn't Have It

posted by Pivotal Health Solutions on Friday, September 18, 2015

Pain, especially chronic pain, is very personal.

For years (and likely still today), chronic pain sufferers were largely misunderstood by the general and even at times the health care population. 

When asked "How do you explain chronic pain to someone who doesn't have it?", many sufferers still say that those who don't experience chronic pain just don't get it. 

Both for health care practitioners who care for these patients (totalling 25 million strong according to recent data) and the community around them, it's important that we try to understand. 

Sufferers describe pain as "evil, insidious," "the worst influenza you've ever had, coupled with several direct hits with a baseball bat" and that "it rules my life day and night." Patients worry "[my PCP] will not give me my very low does of hydrocodone." They also find "I have a very good friend who thinks I should just 'get over it'" or have "stopped trying to explain my pain to others and speak about it as little as possible because I find it an exercise in frustration." 

When Angelika Byczkowski wrote her first column for National Pain Report, she picked a great topic. “How do you explain chronic pain to someone who doesn’t have it?”

The reader reaction was immediate, passionate and very personal.

By and large readers commented on our website and on our Facebook site in two ways – either by describing their own pain or by saying people who don’t have chronic pain, by and large, just don’t get it.

We watch for reaction to our stories and this one plainly ignited at least partially because the topic is so important to those who suffer from chronic pain.

This article excerpt, by the National Pain Report, originally appeared here:

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