Gilroy, CA (September 11, 2012) – Melinda A. Brown, MD, Diplomate American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, will present a Talking Health community class on September 19 entitled: Why do you hurt? Understanding Chronic Pain, Standard & Alternative TreatmentOptions. The class, free of charge, is offered in recognition of Pain Awareness Month observed every September by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).
According to Dr. Brown, managing chronic pain is a complex process. “Pain management is called ‘management’ for a reason,” she explains. “To address pain, first all attempts need to be made to determine the etiology – assess the problem, then address concerns and establish goals and begin treatment.” Etiology is defined as the study of causes or origins, especially in relation to disease.
The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) reports those in chronic pain often suffer isolation and fear that can overwhelm and worsen in time. The following Ten Steps from Patient to Person describe the journey from chronic pain to a return to a full, more rewarding life:
1. Accept the Pain. Learn all you can about your physical condition.
2. Get Involved. Take an active role in your own recovery.
3. Learn to Set Priorities. Look beyond your pain to the things that are important in your life.
4. Set Realistic Goals. Set goal that are within your power to accomplish or break a larger goal down into manageable steps.
5. Know Your Basic Rights. You have a right to be treated with respect, say no without guilt, do less than humanly possible, make mistakes and not need to justify your decisions.
6. Recognize Emotions. Emotions directly affect physical well being. Acknowledge and deal with your feelings.
7. Learn to Relax. Pain increases in times of stress.
8. Exercise. Identify a modest exercise program you can do safely.
9. See the Total Picture. Focus on your abilities not your disabilities.
10. Reach Out. Once you find ways to manager your pain, reach out and share what you know.
Among other topics, Dr. Brown will discuss different types of pain, what are the causes; how regular pain differs from chronic pain; how to assess your pain; and if there is relief from chronic pain.
“Chronic pain presents unique challenges to the sufferer,” offers Dr. Brown. “Pain is a subjective experience with a large emotional component. Everyone’s perception of relief and improvement varies.” Dr. Brown suggests that providing resources on chronic pain and emotions is the best way to educate patients. “If the emotional components to pain are not recognized they can’t be addressed adequately.”
Along with her practice at Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Dr. Brown currently serves as president of the California Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She received her bachelor of arts in Kinesiology at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; her medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois; and completed her residency at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Talking Health lecture series provides a platform for comprehensive and interaction health education to the Gilroy community. Led by SLRH physicians with expertise in each topic, seminars are open forums for participants to raise awareness and ask questions regarding current health issues. The monthly lectures are held on Wednesday evenings throughout the year from 6:30 -7:30 pm in the Saint Louise Administration Board Room, unless otherwise noted. For more information and to reserve a spot for September 19, please contact the Public Relations office at (408) 848-4940.
About Saint Louise Regional Hospital: Located in Gilroy, Saint Louise Regional Hospital (SLRH) is a 93-bed facility, not-for profit community hospital. Saint Louise provides quality care to the growing communities of south Santa Clara County and north San Benito County with a full range of services. Saint Louise is a values-driven organization dedicated to providing excellent healthcare that is attentive and compassionate to the whole person: body, mind and spirit. Key services include cardiac care, maternity and mother-baby care, emergency medicine, sports medicine, arthritis care and joint replacement, wound care and hyperbaric medicine and urgent care.
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