Seminar on supporting people with chronic pain set for Feb. 24
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 2:39 pm

POTSDAM -- “The Challenges and Rewards of Supporting Someone with Chronic Pain” for supporters, family and friends of those with fibromyalgia will be held Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at 59 Main St.

Leslie Russek, physical therapist at Canton-Potsdam Hospital and Associate Professor of physical therapy at Clarkson University, presents information about symptoms such as widespread pain, fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, and difficulty concentrating.

“There are challenges involved in supporting or caring for anyone with a chronic illness; however, FM is particularly difficult as it’s essentially invisible. You cannot see how much pain a person has nor can you see other symptoms including fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritable bowel, or headaches,” said Russek.

Russek emphasized the importance for supporters to remember to take time for themselves in order to maintain physical and emotional well-being.

“Monday’s session will provide some valuable tools and techniques that will benefit both the supporter and those living with FM,” she said.

“These skills, among others I’ll be explaining in detail throughout the evening include: developing good listening habits and believing in the symptoms and pain, regardless of the lack of outward signs and fluctuating symptoms; becoming educated on the disease, it shows care to learn more about the chronic condition; finding activities to enjoy together, board and card games or short vacations may be easier than skiing or long trips; and staying positive and encouraging,” she added.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s free monthly FM Support Group, provides education and open discussion for people with FM and their supporters. Anyone living with a chronic painful condition is welcome to attend. There is ample parking in the patient parking lot and the facility is handicap accessible.

Future dates, topics, and an archive of educational newsletters can be found at

For more information, contact Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s Physical Therapy Department at 261-5460, or Leslie Russek at [email protected].