INDIANAPOLIS – An estimated 100 million Americans live with chronic pain impacting their everyday life. From waking up in the morning, going to work or making a meal.

Chronic pain was making Kristen Oliphant’s life more and more difficult, and she knew she had to make a change.

“Every day I am in pain, something in my body hurts,” said Oliphant, “It’s a very rare day when I’m not.”

Her doctor referred her to the Pain Rehabilitation Program at IU Health.

“It was great to hear that I’m not alone, and other people are here with me,” she stated.

For three weeks patients spend almost the entire day hearing from experts and learning techniques to improve their pain.  From psychology to physical therapy, patients like Oliphant exercise every day.

They also take part in yoga, music, and massage therapies and much more.

The hope is to treat conditions like fibromyalgia, back pain, neuropathy, osteoarthritis, among others.

“This is the first program in Indiana, but it’s something that’s been around for decades in other states. And the research tells us this is it for chronic pain. This is one of the best things you can do,” said Dr. Lindsay Flegge, Ph.D., clinical health psychologist for IU Health.

Dr. Flegge believes the best thing you can do for chronic pain is to make lifestyle changes and get multiple perspectives.

“That can be hard for people when you want, ‘Oh, just give me a shot or please just give me a pill.’ We’re like no – we’re going to talk about your nutrition, we’re going to talk about your sleep, we’re going to talk about your stress, we’re going to talk about your relationships with family – all of that can really impact your pain,” said Flegge.

Chronic pain is complex. Dr. Flegge’s advice is to get a good team around you. And for Oliphant, she found that support.

“It took me a couple days to realize these people believe me,” she said, “These doctors – they know, and they understand.”

According to the CDC, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care.

Meditation continues to be a big part of Oliphant’s healing and recommends the technique to others who are struggling. She does it for 10 minutes each morning to get herself going for the day.

Click here to learn more.