Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My sister has become a chronic pain patient over the last three years. As a family, we're not sure how to respond to her. Some say to ignore her comments about her health. Others say to draw her out and let her talk about it. What do you suggest?

Pain is experienced differently by people and cannot be judged. The underlying condition may cause greater loss of function for some people with the same condition compared with others.

Chronic pain patients seem to experience the pain differently from patients with another diagnosis. For example, cancer patients are more likely to experience a decline in daily activities compared to a chronic pain patient with low back pain.

They may have the same self-reported intensity of pain but the pain interferes more with the function of the cancer patients. At the same time, noncancer chronic pain patients report a greater effect of their pain on psychologic function.

Most pain experts say that pain is a subjective experience. It should be accepted for what it is and how it affects the person. It may be like the old expression, You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes.


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