Dealing with chronic pain can often be a downwards spiral. The persisting pain limits an individual's activities. This leads to decreased physical and social functioning. The loss of control then causes depression and a pain centered life.
The Chronic Pain Clinic at Sylvan Lake Medical Centre is helping patient's regain control and stop the spiral.
Sandra, a local Sylvan resident, first joined the clinic a year and a half ago.
"This is an awesome program. It's a part of my life now. It reminded me how to take care of myself and put myself first," she said.
The Chronic Pain Clinic focuses on pain management by using more than just medications. A holistic approach is taken which focuses on mind, body, and spirit. Using pacing activities, coping strategies, and practicing mindfulness and gratefulness are all part of the program.
"Once I improved my mind, my mood and pain became easier to handle. Pain is no longer the first thing that I think about when I wake up in the morning," said Sandra.
Members of the Chronic Pain Clinic meet once a month with their "team" of PCN health care professionals including: their own family physician, a chronic disease management nurse, and a pharmacist.
Sandra is now on a lower dose of pain medication than before she joined the Clinic and is continually making every day improvements when it comes to coping with her pain.
She said, "I recently went up two flights of stairs to watch my granddaughters skate. I felt like Rocky when I got to the top!"