Chronic Pain

Pain Explained:

An Online Package to Better Understand and Manage Chronic Pain


Pain. We all experience it. However when pain becomes chronic, it causes major distress and truly disrupts your life. Whether your pain is due to an injury, or an underlying disease, when it lasts longer than three months, it’s considered chronic pain in the medical community. While there is a wealth of information available online regarding approaches for chronic pain management, it isn’t always easy to determine whether the information is science-based. Our goal is to help you manage your chronic pain by providing you with high-quality, evidence-based research and information.

Here we will help you better understand chronic pain, its causes, and influences, as well as share with you science-based information about different ways to manage it. Receiving accurate and trusted information will also help you have better discussions with your doctor regarding your pain management strategy.

Who is this information for?

Individuals over the age of 18 with a physician diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), chronic low back pain (CLBP), or any other condition that may cause chronic pain and their caregivers.

“Pain Explained” Topics

Illustration of person rubbing their neck which is red with pain

Part 1

What is Chronic Pain

  • Learn the differences between chronic pain and acute pain
  • The many ways in which chronic pain is experienced, as well as the science behind it

Estimated time: 10 minutes

Part 2

How the Brain Influences Pain

  • How pain impacts various areas of your life
  • The role of the brain and spinal cord in processing pain
  • The relationship between physical pain and emotions

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Part 3

Where to Start

  • How to find reliable information on pain management
  • Medication and non-medication approaches to chronic pain management
  • Coping strategies and psychological interventions

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Part 4

Health & Wellness: A Holistic Approach

  • Learn about complementary treatments including massage, supplements, and acupuncture
  • Health and wellness strategies to better manage pain including exercise, mindfulness and stress management

Estimated time: 45 minutes

Part 5

Is My Treatment Plan Working?

  • Learn how to set and reach goals with your care team
  • How ArthritisPower and other self-appraisal tools can help you communicate better

Estimated time: 30 minutes

A woman with fibromyalgia dealing wiht back pain, as evident by red pain spots on her lower back.

Part 6

How to Stay Connected

  • How to find support groups
  • Where to find useful resources and tools
  • How to become a partner in research
  • How to contribute to your community

Estimated time: 10 minutes

Who We Are

This project consists of a dedicated team of patients, patient advocates, researchers, and physicians committed to disseminating effective and reliable science-based information for people with arthritis and chronic pain. This package is part of a larger project that the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) is leading called: “Encouraging Patients to Manage Chronic Pain Using the Latest Evidence from Research,” which is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). GHLF is a patient-centered, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine, psoriasis, and cardiovascular disease.

We advocate for improved access to health care at the community, state, and federal levels through education and awareness efforts. GHLF is the parent organization of CreakyJoints® (CJ), the digital arthritis community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, activism, and patient-centered research. ArthritisPower® is our first-ever patient-centered research registry for joint, bone, and inflammatory skin conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns about this online package, our dedicated team is ready to assist you.

Shilpa Venkatachalam, PhD

Shilpa Venkatachalam, PhD

Associate Director, Patient- Centered Research

W. Benjamin Nowell, PhD

Ben Nowell, PhD

Director, Patient-Centered Research

Kelly Gavigan, MPH

Kelly Gavigan, MPH

Manager, Research and Data Science

Laura Stradford headshot

Laura Stradford, MPH

Project Manager

Danielle Ali

Danielle Ali

Systems Analyst

For more information on this project contact:

Shilpa Venkatachalam, PhD, Associate Director of Patient-Centered Research at the Global Healthy Living Foundation. Shilpa can be contacted via email at or via phone at (845)-348-0400 ext.1111.

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