Chronic Pain and the Family

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Harvard University Press, Jun 30, 2009 - Health & Fitness - 176 pages
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Chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting as many as 48 million people in this country alone. It can demoralize and depress both patient and family, especially when there is no effective pain control and no hope for relief. Improperly managed, chronic pain can lead to substance abuse (usually painkillers) and to acute psychological and emotional distress. Pain begets stress and stress begets pain in a wretched downward spiral.

Silver reviews the causes and characteristics of chronic pain and explores its impact on individual family relationships and on the extended family, covering such issues as employment, parenting, childbearing and inheritance, and emotional health. Silver treats aspects of chronic pain not covered in a typical office visit: how men and women differ in their experience of chronic pain, the effect of chronic pain on a toddler's behavior or an older child's performance in school, the risks of dependence on and addiction to pain medications, and practical ways for relatives beyond the immediate family circle to offer help and support to the person in pain.

 

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Chronic pain and the family: a new guide

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Anyone who has experienced chronic pain knows how debilitating and disruptive it can be. But pain doesn't only affect the sufferer; according to medical professor Silver, it"is a familial experience ... Read full review

Contents

1 What Is Chronic Pain?
1
2 Effect on the Couple
20
3 Intimacy and Sexual Activity
35
4 Work Issues
45
5 Childbearing and Inheritance
57
6 Growing Up with a Parent in Pain
64
7 Chronic Pain in Children
75
8 The Extended Family
86
11 Diagnosing Chronic Pain Conditions
118
12 Traditional Treatment Options
124
13 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
139
Afterword
148
Resources
151
Suggested Reading
155
Notes
159
Acknowledgments
161

9 Emotional Changes and Depression
95
10 Medication Dependence and Addiction
104

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About the author (2009)

Julie K. Silver is the Medical Director of the International Rehabilitation Center for Polio at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Massachusetts. She is also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

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