Pain is something that everyone experiences at one time or another.

It may be temporary, as a result of a cut or fall. It can surprise people at just how much it hurts.

Unfortunately, for one in every three people, pain is something they have to live with on an everyday basis. Pain can be just an annoyance that limits some activities or it can be totally debilitating.

There is not always an easy cure. However, there is reason for hope.

The American Chronic Pain Association has designated September as Pain Awareness Month in an effort to increase people's understanding of pain and pain management.

The American Chronic Pain Association website (theacpa.org) provides education about the many ways to help alleviate pain. Most people first think of medication. Obviously, working with a physician or nurse is the best place to start. However, other professionals may be able to help decrease pain.

For example, relaxation techniques have been shown to help lessen pain, since tension only makes pain worse. Social workers can be an excellent resource to teach relaxation strategies and pain-coping skills. Physical therapy can teach exercises on how to strengthen muscles, which can also decrease pain. Occupational therapy can recommend adaptive equipment that can make life easier and avoid pain.

Another source of hope is that more medical professionals are offering palliative care.


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It is sometimes difficult to understand what the word palliative means. Palliative care is care or treatment that focuses on relieving the suffering caused by a disease or disorder. This type of care can be offered to a person of any age or at any stage of illness.

Some people incorrectly believe that palliative care does not include curative treatment. This is not always the case. The focus of palliative care is on helping the person be comfortable so that they can live their best life possible.

Sometimes when a person has a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less, he or she may choose to have hospice care. Hospice is an insurance benefit that provides for a person's medical, emotional and spiritual concerns in an effort to enjoy the best quality of life for as long as possible.

Nashoba Nursing Service and Hospice has a team of palliative care and hospice professionals available to work with you, in conjunction with your physician, to help maximize quality of life.

If you have any questions about palliative care, home health or hospice, call Nashoba Nursing Service and Hospice at 978 425-6675.