"Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating. With chronic pain, signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for months or even years. This can take both a physical and emotional toll on a person. The most common sources of pain stem from headaches, joint pain, pain from injury, and backaches. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendinitis, sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, and neck. Generalized muscle or nerve pain can also develop into a chronic condition. Chronic pain may originate with an initial trauma/injury or infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain. Some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The emotional toll of chronic pain also can make pain worse. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue interact in complex ways with chronic pain and may decrease the body's production of natural painkillers; moreover, such negative feelings may increase the level of substances that amplify sensations of pain, causing a vicious cycle of pain for the person.
Even the body's most basic defenses may be compromised: There is considerable evidence that unrelenting pain can suppress the immune system. Because of the mind-body links associated with chronic pain, effective treatment requires addressing psychological as well as physical aspects of the condition."
A support group for people with chronic pain in the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach) Maine area. We meet twice a month to discuss the challenges of living with chronic pain and offer support to each other. We also hear updates on research and therapies from physicians and other professionals in the area.
Chronic Pain Support Group (CPSG): http://www.chronicpainsupport.org/
Their primary goal is to provide a safe Internet environment where those living in pain can get the support they need. Our message board and chat rooms are the primary sources of support.
American Chronic Pain Association: http://www.theacpa.org/
$30 inital membership fee; support groups in Maine.
Family Caregiver Alliance: http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/home.jsp
The focus is on providing resources for those caring for people who have chronic illnesses.
Friend's Health Connection: http://www.48friend.org/index.php
A nonprofit support network that connects people with similar health problems for the purpose of mutual support.
National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)- http://www.nfcacares.org/
NFCA focuses on family caregivers.
The Well Spouse Foundation: http://www.wellspouse.org/
$25 yearly membership fee. (No well spouse is denied membership in WSF due to financial hardship. If you are unable to afford full membership dues at this time, please enclose whatever amount you can.) Well Spouse is a national, not for profit membership organization which gives support to wives, husbands, and partners of the chronically ill and/or disabled.
The American Pain Foundation: http://www.painfoundation.org/default.asp
Information. Education. Advocacy.
The Mayday Pain Project: http://www.painandhealth.org/index.html
Portal type site that has lots of links.
Partners Against Pain: http://www.partnersagainstpain.com/
An alliance of patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers working together to alleviate unnecessary suffering by leading efforts to advance standards of pain care through education and advocacy.
Provides chronic pain sufferers with information regarding Chronic Pain and the medications used to treat this illness. Commercial site with lots of information about medications.
The Chronic Pain Haven: http://www.chronic-pain-haven.com/index.html
A New Zealand site that has a lot of background information about chronic pain.
Fibromyalgia; Myofascial Pain Syndrome; Chronic Pain.
Chronic Pain, CFS, FMS and other Medical Resources
American College of Rheumatology: http://www.rheumatology.org/index.asp
This site maintains a list of practicing Rheumatologists.
American RSDHope Group: http://www.rsdhope.org/
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, also known as CRPS, is a progressive disease of the Autonomic Nervous System that can follow a simple trauma (fall or sprain) a break or fracture (especially wrist and ankle) a sharp force injury (such as a knife or bullet wound), heart problems, infections, surgery, RSI/CTS, spinal injuries/disorders, or major trauma.
Spondylitis Association of America (SAA): http://www.spondylitis.org/
A national non-profit volunteer organization, is dedicated to the eradication of ankylosing spondylitis and related diseases through education, advocacy, awareness and research.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association: http://www.rsds.org/
The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association website is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive and timely information for those of you who are affected by, or interested in, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD or RSDS), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This neurologic syndrome often is characterized by disabling pain.
Interstitial Cystitis Network: http://www.ic-network.com/
Interstitial Cystitis is a bladder and pelvic pain disorder effecting millions men, women and children throughout the world. With symptoms of frequency, urgency. and/or pain, diagnosis can be elusive. Patients are often misdiagnosed with UTI.
RSI Support/Injured Worker Groups Provided by the CTD Resource Network, Inc.:
A 501(c)(3) organization providing educational material and charitable assistance related to the prevention and treatment of cumulative trauma disorders (also known as repetitive strain injuries).