Columbia University School of Nursing Offers Tips to Alleviate Chronic Pain in Honor of National Nurse Anesthetists Week

(NEW YORK, NY, January 23, 2013) – Chronic pain—a persistent, continuous or recurrent pain lasting longer than three to six months is an epidemic worldwide, with about 100 million Americans estimated as sufferers.
In honor of the 14th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week (January 20-26th), established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Columbia University School of Nursing offers advice for those dealing with chronic pain.
“Management of chronic pain requires a holistic and multidisciplinary approach and may include lifestyle changes, massage or physical therapy and pharmacotherapy,” said Will Enlow, DNP, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, Continuing Education Program of Nurse Anesthesia at Columbia University School of Nursing.
The following tips may be useful to you if you experience chronic pain and should be discussed with your health professional:

  • Exercise: Exercise causes endorphins to be released into your blood stream, your body's equivalent of morphine. Engage in activities that you enjoy and schedule periods of exercise and rest appropriately.
  • Use relaxation and meditation for diversion from pain. Focusing on your breath or a mantra can calm your body and your mind, helping to lessen pain.
  • Consider massage therapy and/or acupuncture. Massage aims to relieve pain by freeing the tight and restricted areas in your muscles that are triggering discomfort. Acupuncture is used as an adjunct treatment for an ever-growing list of disorders including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and side effects from cancer treatment.
  • Join a support group. Interacting with others with chronic pain may help you feel less isolated and alone.
  • Take medications as prescribed by your health care professional and keep scheduled appointments. 
  • Tell all your health providers about each of the things you do to manage your pain--including taking over the counter medications and herbal supplements.


Contact: Rachel Zuckerman
Columbia University School of Nursing

617 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

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