Twitter and Chronic Pain–A Second Look

Twitter and Chronic Pain-A Second Look

Britt JohnsonWe have a confession to make.

When National Pain Report decided to run a story on Britt Johnson’s decision to take her chronic pain story to Twitter, we were pretty sure it would be popular.

Britt, who writes a compelling blog on her battles with chronic pain called The Hurt Blogger, had already generated quite a bit of following on Twitter. Using the hash tag #ChronicLife, her honest portrayal of her life had already generated quite a following on social media.

She told the National Pain Report that the reaction to it has been, in her word, overwhelming. The use of social media plainly has a place in the chronic pain universe.

“It speaks to the need for honesty in healthcare and in healthcare social media. The movement has become freeing for a lot of patients,  because we’re doing this together, and it’s easier to lift our mask of invisible illness and be honest when we’re not alone,” she told us this week.

Her ground rules for her Twitter “experiment” were published for all to see. She said she would tweet every time she felt pain, share the mental health aspects of her disease and share all the medications that she takes. She said she has received an overwhelming number of Tweets and comments from other pain sufferers and tremendous support from other chronic pain people.

On the other hand, several healthcare professionals have said they’ve been “profoundly impacted” by reading the tweets,” Johnson added. “Doctors see their role in a new light, and others realize there are so many areas of health to be impacted besides the few minutes we’re in clinic.”

When we published the story, and posted it on The National Pain Report Facebook page it generated a lot of exposure and comment. Here are two of them.

Jim Citrone Excellent article and glad to see the Chronic Pain Community coming to Twitter. I’ve had severe CP for 15 years. I know all about the stigmatisms, discrimination, awkward looks, judgment being passed, etc. Thankfully, I have a very understanding Doctor and a great Pharmacist. All of my diagnosis backs up my pain issues (MRI’s, CT Scans, Myelogram, etc.). Very blessed at this point in my journey. Wish treatment was “standard” and the same across the board for everyone suffering from unrelenting pain. Makes me sad to see so many being treated like 2nd class citizens and receiving no relief whatsoever!

Judith Marie I hope it serves its designated purpose. It’s been a long time coming! Bravo!

By the way, don’t think the #ChronicLife Twitter “campaign” is over. Britt Johnson intends to continue. She was interviewed on Sirius XM Radio (just this week) and those who follow her on Twitter are continuing to interact and respond.

You can follow Britt Johnson on Twitter @HurtBlogger.

You can follow National Pain Report on Twitter @NatPainReport.

You can follow the author @Edcoghlan



Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Nancy Foulds Ribok

I have not read her tweets, but what a great idea to get the word out. Thanks for writing about it.