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Living with chronic pain

Sharon Kean (left), facilitator of the St. Anthony and Area Chronic Pain Support Group, and Catherine Pilgrim, Regional Chronic Disease Self-Management Coordinator LG Health, had information available on chronic pain at the Viking Mall on Nov. 5.
Sharon Kean (left), facilitator of the St. Anthony and Area Chronic Pain Support Group, and Catherine Pilgrim, Regional Chronic Disease Self-Management Coordinator LG Health, had information available on chronic pain at the Viking Mall on Nov. 5.

The St. Anthony and Area Chronic Pain Support Group were busy getting the word out there about their services during National Pain Week from November 1-7.

The group was first organized in 2012 and has been growing continuously ever since. There are currently 35 members. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Hotel North.
It is open to anyone experiencing chronic pain; they can self-refer or speak to a doctor about attending.
According to Sharon Kean, the group’s facilitator, there are two types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain lasts up to 16 weeks, but goes away as the body heals. Chronic pain persists longer than 16 weeks.
“This gives all those in attendance an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other,” she explained. “Nobody needs to suffer alone; they need to be supported.”
They bring in guest educational speakers as well to discuss different issues facing individuals with chronic pain.
Exercise programs are also made available.
In the summer, the group does three weekly soft stretch exercise classes in the pool. In the fall and winter, they offer three weekly soft stretch exercise classes at the Polar Centre.
A number of people in the group also meet and do the walking track at the Polar Centre as well.
“It’s a nice way to stay connected and to be actively involved in the community,” said Kean.
They have received much support from the community over the past three years as well. The St. Anthony Royal Canadian Legion helped out with a donation and the hospital allowed them to use the recreation room for the first year to do their meetings.
Since then, they have received three different grants, including from the Provincial Health and Wellness Grant Program for 2014 and 2015. And now they’ve received another for 2015 and 2016.
The grants have helped pay for usage of the pool, the Polar Centre, for the therapeutic equipment they have been using, and has allowed them to establish their own book and DVD library.
According to Kean, because of these grants, they are able to offer these programs to people free of charge.
“Most people who live on disability don’t have very big incomes,” said Kean.
“And to be actively involved costs quite a bit of money. So we’ve really worked hard to try to find grants that would be able to help our people to be involved without being too big of a financial burden on them.”
On Nov. 5, the group set up a booth in the Viking Mall where they had a large variety of information books and pamphlets to increase awareness of this disease and to reach out to those who may be suffering with it and require a support group.
Anyone interested in attending a meeting are welcome to call Sharon Kean at 454-2678. More information is also available at www.paincantwait.ca.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

Pain facts

• 30-40 per cent of Atlantic Canadians suffer from chronic pain
• Pain impacts quality of life and can cause depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and decreased physical activity.
• Untreated acute pain complicates recovery.
• Shingles vaccinations reduce the risk of chronic pain.
• Adults 65 and older in pain are most unlikely to report it.
• Age has no bearing on chronic pain.

 

The group was first organized in 2012 and has been growing continuously ever since. There are currently 35 members. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Hotel North.
It is open to anyone experiencing chronic pain; they can self-refer or speak to a doctor about attending.
According to Sharon Kean, the group’s facilitator, there are two types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain lasts up to 16 weeks, but goes away as the body heals. Chronic pain persists longer than 16 weeks.
“This gives all those in attendance an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other,” she explained. “Nobody needs to suffer alone; they need to be supported.”
They bring in guest educational speakers as well to discuss different issues facing individuals with chronic pain.
Exercise programs are also made available.
In the summer, the group does three weekly soft stretch exercise classes in the pool. In the fall and winter, they offer three weekly soft stretch exercise classes at the Polar Centre.
A number of people in the group also meet and do the walking track at the Polar Centre as well.
“It’s a nice way to stay connected and to be actively involved in the community,” said Kean.
They have received much support from the community over the past three years as well. The St. Anthony Royal Canadian Legion helped out with a donation and the hospital allowed them to use the recreation room for the first year to do their meetings.
Since then, they have received three different grants, including from the Provincial Health and Wellness Grant Program for 2014 and 2015. And now they’ve received another for 2015 and 2016.
The grants have helped pay for usage of the pool, the Polar Centre, for the therapeutic equipment they have been using, and has allowed them to establish their own book and DVD library.
According to Kean, because of these grants, they are able to offer these programs to people free of charge.
“Most people who live on disability don’t have very big incomes,” said Kean.
“And to be actively involved costs quite a bit of money. So we’ve really worked hard to try to find grants that would be able to help our people to be involved without being too big of a financial burden on them.”
On Nov. 5, the group set up a booth in the Viking Mall where they had a large variety of information books and pamphlets to increase awareness of this disease and to reach out to those who may be suffering with it and require a support group.
Anyone interested in attending a meeting are welcome to call Sharon Kean at 454-2678. More information is also available at www.paincantwait.ca.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

Pain facts

• 30-40 per cent of Atlantic Canadians suffer from chronic pain
• Pain impacts quality of life and can cause depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and decreased physical activity.
• Untreated acute pain complicates recovery.
• Shingles vaccinations reduce the risk of chronic pain.
• Adults 65 and older in pain are most unlikely to report it.
• Age has no bearing on chronic pain.

 

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