Chronic Pain Self-Management

A community-based workshop to help people manage their chronic pain. This workshop is recommended for adults who are experiencing chronic pain. This interactive workshop is designed to decrease pain and increase vitality.

What topics are covered?

  • What is pain?
  • The Mind Body Connection / Distraction
  • Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Fatigue Management
  • Pacing and Planning
  • Evaluating Treatments
  • Healthy Eating
  • Dealing with Depression
  • Medications for Chronic Pain
  • Stress and Guided Imagery / Relaxation
  • Appropriate Exercise / Moving Easy Program
  • Communicating with your Health Care Provider
  • Decision Making
  • Action Planning and Problem Solving

Who can attend?

This interactive and participatory program is for individuals who are living with pain every day. This workshop is designed to help participants better manage their pain and become more active in their daily lives. To date, the program has been delivered to hundreds of individuals with chronic pain.

Does the program replace existing programs and treatments?

The program does not replace any existing programs or treatments. In fact, the classes enhance those provided through accredited programs often provided in hospital settings or pain clinics. Treatment is not altered. For medical questions, participants are referred to their physicians. If the content of the course conflicts with instructions they receive elsewhere, they are advised to follow their physician’s orders and discuss discrepancies with their doctor.

What can I expect from the class?

The Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) was developed and tested by Dr. Sandra Lefort at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and was later revised at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s NL (Self Management Resource Center). The CPSMP has been evaluated in two randomized studies in Canada with over 350 participants. These studies found that people, who took the program, when compared to those who did not take the program, improved their health status. Participants also reported:

  • Less pain and disability
  • Less dependency on others
  • Improved social and physical functioning
  • Improved mental health / less depressed
  • Increased life satisfaction

Details of the program

The Chronic Pain Self-Management Program is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) originally developed at Stanford University. Different subject matters are taught over the course of six weekly, 2 ½ hour sessions all focused to help each participant manage their pain, become more active and have more energy. This program covers both the physical aspect of managing pain as well as the emotional aspect. In addition, the curriculum provides information about what drugs can and cannot do in alleviating pain. The program also assists individuals understand that pain is interpreted by the brain and how efforts to reinterpret the pain can be helpful.

This workshop includes the Moving Easy Program (MEP) which is a gentle flexibility program designed to safely loosen muscles and joints and increase circulation. MEP is a sequence of 26 moves combining flexibility and gentle strength training with better breathing. This gentle movement program is designed to reduce stress and tension and calm the nervous system.

Facilitators give guided instruction on the program throughout the six week course. Textbooks and MEP CD’s are also provided to help participants learn the exercises.

Caregivers are welcome at the workshops and are encouraged to participate as well. Workshops are led by two trained leaders and are held in community settings (libraries, community centers, churches, housing units, etc.) for 10-16 individuals. Participants are encouraged to attend all six sessions. Each session builds upon the previous week. Participants enjoy sharing experiences and provide mutual support to each other.

Call 410-386-3818 or email LivingHealthy@carrollcountymd.gov for more information!