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When your back hurts all or most of the time, it can affect more than just your body. There's an emotional side to chronic pain. You may need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. You need support.
Support groups—where you meet or talk to people who are dealing with the same issues you are—can be a great source of comfort and advice.
Some support groups focus on education. These groups
often are led by a professional, such as a teacher or a doctor who shares
information about the problem. Other groups focus on support. They often
include only people who have the same problem. These are called peer
In a peer group, you'll find people who are going through
the same things you are. You'll see that you're not the only one and that
others have the same feelings and challenges as you. Group members can give you
support, advice, and encouragement. You can see what is working for others and
decide if it might work for you.
You can help others in the
group by paying attention and letting them know you are listening and by
sharing your thoughts. Your experiences and ideas may be new to them. Being
able to help others is rewarding and helps you gain self-confidence.
Peer support may include consumer providers and consumer-run
How to find a support group
Here are some ways to find support groups:
Look for a support group that works for you. Ask yourself
if you prefer structure and would like a group leader, or if you'd like a less
formal group. Do you prefer face-to-face meetings, or do you feel more secure
in Internet chat rooms or forums?
You may not have good
social support. Perhaps you avoid other people. This may be because:
If you can improve your social support, it can help you
deal with your pain. Here are some ways you can make your social support
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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