BROOKINGS — Take control of your health by participating in educational sessions specifically designed for adults with chronic pain and their caregivers. A Better Choices, Better Health® SD (BCBH) Chronic Pain workshop will take place on Tuesdays, April 2 through May 7, 2019 at the James Valley Community Center, 300 W 1st Ave., Mitchell. The sessions will take place from 9-11:30 a.m.

“The BCBH Chronic Pain workshop is a new addition to the BCBH suite of workshops and this will be the first time it is offered in Mitchell. We are excited to be able to provide the opportunity to take part in this program at no cost to support community members in taking control of their chronic pain and learning new ideas to help keep them motivated,” said Megan Jacobson, SDSU Extension nutrition field specialist & BCBH program associate.

BCBH Chronic Pain workshops teach strategies to handle chronic pain associated with physical and mental health conditions and improve quality of life. Each workshop consists of six two-and-a-half hour sessions with interactive group discussion. “BCBH Chronic Pain is not a support group but rather a workshop on how to make small steps toward positive changes and a healthier life,” Jacobson explained.

Workshop topics include:

• Tips for exercising

• Goal setting and problem solving

• Appropriate use of pain medications

• Communicating with doctors and family members

• Relaxation

• Pacing activity and rest

• Dealing with tension, anxiety, frustration and fatigue

The program was originally developed by Stanford University more than 30 years ago. The program is designed for those with chronic pain conditions that might include, but are not limited to: arthritis, fibromyalgia, stroke, muscle or skeletal pain (neck, shoulder, back), persistent headache, migraine, Cohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, and substance abuse.

The South Dakota Department of Health, SDSU Extension and South Dakota Department of Human Services launched the Better Choices, Better Health® SD in an effort to teach South Dakotans with chronic health conditions ways to manage the impact of their disease on their lives and their families’ lives. The classes are offered in partnership with the James Valley Community Center.

State Health Plan members can receive 75 Wellness Points for attending a BCBH workshop.

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