Workshop helps people deal with chronic pain

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The overprescribing of opioids has contributed to the overdose epidemic and millions of people becoming addicted. One workshop in our area aims to help patients manage their pain with opioids.

A number of health conditions have left Juanita Fetter dealing with pain for nearly 15 years. 

“Really didn’t have any options for pain, here’s a pill or I’m going home after work and laying in bed and there was a lot of times I just did that”  Pain Patient Juanita Fetter said.

Then she heard about a workshop called, Better Choices, Better Health.

“With the class I really learned that I can manage it and there’s several things I can do,” Fetter said. 

The classes last for 6 weeks and are designed to help people dealing with chronic conditions avoid the overuse of pain pills. 

“They may choose something like problem solving or decision making or they might learn some techniques for getting better sleep,” program manager, Denise Kolba said. “One of the biggest tools we teach is to have a goal each week so we do action planning each week and we also focus on being able to communicate better.”

Better Choices, Better Health doesn’t mean not utilizing prescription medication at all, but it does mean looking for alternative pain relief options as well. 

“Some of our participants are on medications for their pain, so they may be on opioids, some of them aren’t” Kolba said. “It gives them some tools that they can use so that they can maybe choose something else to manage their pain better.”

Fetter says the classes has helped her so much, she’s set a huge goal for herself she never dreamed she could accomplish before. 

“I’ve wanted to go sky diving for about three years and the first year I had problems with my knee and then this last year I had carpel tunnel surgery, but my goal was to go skydiving, I went on a sky diving simulation and that was really fun,” Fetter said.

Fetter says implementing a number of new techniques, like breathing exercises, stretching and practicing positive thinking has made that possible.

The class is open to anyone 18 years and older and free of charge.

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