Wednesdays, 5:00 pm
Arizona Pain Specialists offers a complementary and comprehensive approach to pain management by consistently offering more options for our patients. If you suffer from chronic pain, an option you may want to consider is a free pain support group offered at Arizona Pain Specialists.
Meeting every Wednesday evening at 5 PM, the pain support group is for anyone suffering from chronic pain and is led by Larry Lynch.
“Our group is extremely diverse. We see a range of ages and pain conditions,” Lynch says. “The one thing everyone does have in common, however, is that everyone is struggling with pain.”
The group focuses on psycho-educational support, and topics often span exercise, diet and nutrition, managing stress, and giving support to others in the group. The group is different each time, as some people can’t make it every week and new members are joining often.
“I would definitely encourage people to come a few times before you decide if the group is not for you,” Lynch says. “You may come the first week and feel like you didn’t connect on a personal level with anyone there. But if you come the next week, there may be someone there who knows exactly what you’re going through that wasn’t able to make it the first week you attended.”
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Mr. Lynch also advocates coming to the group even if you’re not feeling particularly up to it that week.
“We ask those in pain to do exactly what they feel makes their condition worse,” Lynch explains. “If you have a chronic pain condition, it’s hard to go about daily activities, much less add an extra activity in the evening. But by being socially and physically active, your pain condition will in fact improve with time.”
He goes on to urge those feeling depressed to still come to the meeting, as social support from those who are going through a similar experience has been shown to vastly improve one’s mood and outlook. Some have tried support groups before and found them to merely be commiseration sessions in which the members do nothing but discuss the bad parts of their condition. Mr. Lynch allows some discussion of bad days or hard times, but strives to keep the group focused on the good by encouragement. He often will demonstrate and practice relaxation methods with the group.
“By coming to the group or utilizing relaxation methods learned there, people are learning how to distract from the pain, which is important to getting through your day and improving,” Lynch says. Support often extends beyond Wednesday evenings.
“The members make connections at the support group meetings, and then they call each other during the week and stay connected,” Lynch observes. “By staying connected and accountable to one another, I have seen people improve quite a bit. There are some members that are highly educated about their condition, and they are invaluable to other members who may not be as educated or experienced with that particular condition. With empowerment and education, I see people suffering through less pain.”
The group meets in the lobby of Arizona Pain Specialists, and meetings last approximately an hour and a half. Special events are scheduled as well and have included a potluck and cookie exchange. If the Wednesday meeting time is impossible for you but you are interested in joining the support group, please contact Mr. Lynch to let him know.
“I am interested in starting new groups in Glendale or scheduling additional meetings on Saturday mornings,” Lynch says. “I want to make the group as accessible as possible for everyone, whether they’re balancing a job or a busy life.”
The benefits of the Arizona Pain Specialist support group are immeasurably valuable for anyone suffering from a chronic pain condition. “People join the group because of a problem,” Lynch says. “But people stay for the relationships they have gained.” All are invited and encouraged to attend the support group meetings Wednesday evenings at 5 PM. If you have any questions or to request starting additional groups at different times, please contact Larry Lynch at Arizona Pain Specialists.