National Pain Awareness Month

By Laura Grueser - Contributing columnist

Pain. We know that we feel it, but what causes us to feel it?

When we are in pain, it’s because the sensory nerve fibers in our bodies transmit pain signals to the spinal cord. The signal crosses the spinal cord and then reaches the brain. Our brain then makes us conscious of the pain. This seems like such a simple explanation for a very complex and, at times, debilitating problem.

September is National Pain Awareness month. This means that a whole month is set aside to evaluate and educate ourselves on what is causing our pain and how to deal with it. Our pain can be chronic, which means that it’s on-going. Some examples of chronic pain are headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, diabetic neuropathy, sciatica and irritable bowel syndrome.

Acute pain is something that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. Its existence is shorter in length, usually no more than three to six months. This type of pain includes pulled muscles, broken bones, burns, bruises, cuts, labor pains and menstrual cramps.

In order to help those who suffer from chronic pain manage their symptoms, the Meigs County Health Department will be hosting Chronic Pain Self-Management classes. These classes will be held every Thursday evening from 5-7:30 p.m. starting Sept. 26 through Oct. 31, in the Health Department Conference Room.

These classes will focus on managing pain through the mind-body connection/distraction, dealing with difficult emotions, breathing and relaxation, healthy eating, communication skills and evaluation of treatments, as will as, decision making and action planning. The classes will be taught by Certified Community Health Workers Kiera Frank and Laura Grueser.

For more information and to register for the classes, call the Health Department at 740-992-6626.

By Laura Grueser

Contributing columnist

Laura Grueser is the Certified Community Health Worker 1 at the Meigs County Health Department.

Laura Grueser is the Certified Community Health Worker 1 at the Meigs County Health Department.