Features January 2010 Issue

Shift Your Focus to Beat Chronic Pain

Diverting attention away from your pain can make coping easier.

Chronic pain that persists beyond the time of healing, or approximately six months or more, is common among older adults, and "itís wrong to treat it as if itís acute pain," says Judith Scheman, PhD, program director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinicís Neurological Institute. "When pain persists and thereís no underlying process going on, you canít respond as if itís a fire alarm that means thereís a fire. Itís really more of an error signal."

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