Living with Chronic Pain

How Online Support Can Help With Chronic Pain


Chronic pain can be a desolate experience. Despite having a supportive group of family members and friends, many individuals feel alone and misunderstood. Turning to online communities for support, comfort and conversation can help when dealing with chronic pain.

It is often difficult to fully connect with others who are not knowledgeable of the challenges attached to chronic pain. Online support groups bring individuals with similar experiences, such as chronic pain, together. Online networking allows sharing and receiving information, ideas and thoughts, which can improve overall well-being.

Finding online support groups

Many support groups can be located through social media. A health care professional, clinic, or hospital may be able to provide information concerning online support groups. Nonprofit organizations that advocate for certain chronic pain conditions may have a list. Websites are also a good source for information.

Benefits of online support groups

Online support groups can improve emotional well-being. Personal experiences, feelings, information, and coping strategies can be shared. Benefits of online support groups include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Improved information and understanding of chronic pain conditions
  • Receiving resource information
  • Less loneliness, isolation, and feeling judged
  • Increased feelings of empowerment, hope and motivation
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Availability and flexibility of support
  • Ability to talk openly and honestly
  • Improved coping skills
  • Receiving advice and practical feedback
  • Gratification of helping others
  • Ability to share worries, treatment decisions, and side effects
  • Establishing friendships

Possible risks of online support

Although generally safe, online support groups can potentially have risks. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Disruptive members
  • Lack of confidentiality
  • Group tension
  • Inappropriate comments or medical advice
  • Competitive comparisons
  • Misunderstandings
  • Misinformation
Did you find this helpful?
You may also like