​The Maintenance Stage and the Potential for Relapse for Patients with Chronic Pain

     Prochaska and DiClemente  (1984) affirmed that people who are taking action on ways to change can easily regress to earlier stages of ambivalence or avoidance. What seemed like an easy road is often met with multiple bumps or turbulence, especially if a person doesn’t know their triggers that induce regression. 

   Maintaing a chronic pain lifestyle is no different than someone commited to being  sober or clean over time then has a setback because of vulnerable triggers like a party or passing by a familar liquor store on the way home.

    Emotional triggers can be the hardest to tolerate for people ib the Maintenance stage of change. Vulnerable feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety and helplessness can induce one to revert back to earlier, maladaptive coping strategies. 

   Consequently, it is critical for the person with chronic pain to learn one’s vulnerable triggers and to have ongoing support systems available to reduce frequent setbacks.

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