Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief

The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief

Professor Barbara K. Bruce
The Great Course Company

Start with the last question I usually answer when I review a book/course I have just completed.  WHO SHOULD READ THE BOOK OR TAKE THE COURSE? 

At first you might think that since YOU have no pain, taking this course is not necessary but the course is NOT entirely just about YOU.  As it turns out, the course is not only about a person experiencing chronic pain but also about that person’s support group.  Therefore, the course may be for you if you are a family member or friend of someone experiencing chronic pain or if you are the person experiencing the chronic pain. 

Dr. Bruce is a Pain Psychologist.  To understand why that is important to this course and ultimately you, you must first understand what “chronic pain” is.  Chronic pain are pains that typically last more than 3 months meaning you may injure a knee but the pain usually subsides and you resume your daily activities in less than 3 months.  There are pains such as back pains, severe headaches, and even continued knee, hip, ankle, shoulder and neck pains that may persist and actually never completely go away.  This course addresses chronic pains and what can be done when all other corrective measures have been exhausted.

Why did I take this course?  I have had chronic back pain for over 6 years and it has curtailed many of the activities I engaged in prior to the onslaught of the pain in my lower back.  I wanted to learn more about chronic pain and what my options were in combating it.  If you are in a similar situation, this course is for you.  If you are a family member or good friend of someone experiencing chronic pain this course is also for you.  My guess is that if you plan to live beyond 60 years old, this course WILL be important for you.  I remember the day when I would watch older people struggle with just walking and would wonder how they arrived at such a fate for them.  Then I became that “older person” and now I know how they feel.

At times all seems lost.  Yes there are people with far worse ailments in their lives than I have in mine but what gets lost in that type of attitude is that the ailments I am experiencing are my ailments and yes they have curtailed a great many of the activities I once performed.  Now just walking becomes a problem at times.  I tell you this as a form of disclaimer and more importantly to emphasize what someone can learn from this course to help them live a more happier and productive life.

The course sets out a plan to deal with a person’s new normal that includes chronic pain.  It emphasizes not only that you establish specific goals it helps you determine what those goals should be.  It explains pain, sometimes with terms that completely go over my head but the overall explanation is actually easy to understand in spite of those medical terms.  The course lays out various treatment options for chronic pain that are currently available including medications one probably has already taken.  Then when all measures seem to have failed, the course lays out a plan to learn to make lifestyle alterations to live that happier and more productive life.

If YOU have chronic pain or if you know of someone else who has chronic pain, this course should be a must take for both of you.  For the person with the pain, it will help create that better life.  For the other person it will help them understand what the person with the chronic pain is going through and more importantly what that person is thinking and the emotional crisis that may be caused by the chronic pain.

This is a GREAT course.  As I said, on occasion it was over my head in regards to the medical terms interspersed throughout the course but the content was not affected by my not being able to recall the various names given to body parts that are affected and controlled by pain.  Did it help me?  Absolutely.  Who should take the course?  Anyone with lingering pains or knows of someone with lingering pains that they may be in a position to help.  Anyone who plans to live long enough to where physical and mental pain may become a basic part of their life and that would include just about everyone.

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