#2 Learn about your condition

It's Saturday, and a great day for surfing the internet or going to the library. Welcome to the world of the professional patient, it's time to get started on those self-studies!

Knowledge is power, and if you have a health condition, knowing more about it can help you get better. If you have a diagnosis, make it a point to read different descriptions of it, and take notes. Collect information from as many sources as possible and try to understand it so well that you can describe it to others in your own words.

If you suffer chronic pain without a specific diagnosis, you should learn more about the central nervous system, about pain signals and about chronic pain.

Set aside an hour or two and start with the basics. Find websites or books that work for you, it can be good to start with an illustrated textbook if you want to get a visual understanding of what's going on inside your body. Check out the neural pathways, read about the difference in nociceptive and neuropathic pain for example, and see if you can find information written both by doctors and by patients to get different perspectives.

This can be a good place to start:
The American Chronic Pain Association
And this page is excellent for a more in-depth explanation: Basic Science of chronic pain.

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