Complications of Chronic Pain

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By: Elka Karl

Chronic pain is a major limiting factor inthe performance of self-care behaviorsthat help minimize diabetes-relatedcomplications. Chronic pain should beconsidered when developing effectivediabetes self-care regimens.

Department of Veterans Affairs dataon 993 patients with diabetes whohad chronic pain were studied. Theassociation between the presence andseverity of chronic pain and difficulty withdiabetes self-management was evaluatedby Michigan researchers.

Approximately 60 percent of respondentsreported chronic pain. Patients withchronic pain had poorer diabetes self-managementand greater difficulty following a recommended exercise plan and eating plan. Individuals with severe or very severe pain, compared with mild ormoderate, reported significantly poorerdiabetes self-management, includinggreater difficulty with taking diabetesmedications and exercise.

Diabetes Care, January 2005

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