Chronic Pain is Real: Self-Management can help!

Kendra Lewis, Melissa Lee

An estimated 20% of American adults (approximately 50 million) suffer from chronic pain. Eight percent (roughly 19.6 million) have high chronic pain, with higher rates associated with older age, as well as rural residency. This costs at least $560 billion annually in the US. Approximately 3-4% of adults with chronic pain rely on opioids as a long-term pain management solution. Because of the high risk of opioid usage, the Center for Disease Control’s top recommendation for prescribing opioids for chronic pain is that non-opioid therapy be the preferred treatment of chronic pain, and opioids only be used with the benefits outweigh the risk.

To help combat the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire, UNH Extension professionals have partnered with the Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center to expand the delivery of the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP). Providing this program increases the availability of low-risk pain management opportunities and can prevent opioid misuse. The CPSMP empowers chronic pain sufferers to manage their pain more effectively, reducing or eliminating their need for prescription opioids. Workshops are highly participatory; mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. The CPSMP can serve in conjunction with medical opioid use, provide a critical solution to non-opioid pain management, prepare people for pain management following surgery, reduce falls, and reduce depression that leads to opioid use and also that is a result of opioid use.

Watch this video for more information and to hear from real participants!:

Listen to this podcast to hear more about CPSMP and why it works:

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Kendra Lewis
Youth & Family Resiliency State Specialist
Assoc State Spec Professor
Phone: (603) 862-2495
Office: Cooperative Extension, Pettee Hall Rm GO5C, Durham, NH 03824

Melissa Lee
Youth & Family Resiliency Field Specialist
Assoc Field Specialist
Phone: (603) 255-3556 ext. 809
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824