The fact that you are asking the question is a great start.

There are many ways you can offer support to someone who is in constant and chronic pain.

First, understand that chronic pain is not just a symptom. It can be debilitating and life-changing. Until recently, pain was considered just a symptom of a disease or condition. But we know that ongoing pain is harmful to the body.

Realize that chronic pain doesn’t go away. Many people who suffer from a chronic and painful condition stop complaining or talking about their pain, but that doesn’t mean the pain has left.

Understand that your loved one’s feelings. He or she may feel discouraged, depressed, angry and frustrated because he or she cannot participate in life as much as before.

Make a list of things that your loved one can and cannot do around the house. Sometimes writing down and dividing the household chores produces feelings of empowerment and control. It may take some pressure off of you and allow your loved one to feel like a contributing member of the family.

Recognize and deal with your own frustration. Many times people who live with people who experience chronic pain assume the role of caregivers. They may feel guilty or burdened when they want to do things their loved one cannot.

Encourage your loved one to stay connected to people. Friends and family care about you. Reach out to them. Join an online support group to connect with others who understand.

Encourage your loved one to seek treatment. The Bone & Joint Center’s pain management specialists understand how debilitating chronic pain can be. They will work with you and your loved one to limit the pain so you can enjoy life as much as possible.