With Margaret Heaton-Ashby, LMFT

Margaret Heaton-Ashby

Did you know that people with chronic pain are three times more likely to develop depression and anxiety than those without chronic pain? Pain and emotions go hand in hand. As feelings of anxiety, worry, sadness, anger, and/or stress go up, pain levels also go up. Likewise, as pain levels go up, feelings of nervousness, worry, anger, and/or depression can go up too.

So today my message for you is to think small. Small steps make a big difference in helping both pain and mental health.

Small acts count – When living with chronic pain, it is the little things that add up:
· 10 % of relief comes from using your heating pad (or ice)
· 10% of relief comes with stretching
· 10% of relief comes from using topical ointments or a pain patch
· 15 % of relief from getting in your daily walk
· 15% of relief comes with taking rest breaks during daily activities

These small steps add up and help with pain regulation.

With mental health, small acts count as well:
· Engage in healthy joyful activities – like listening to your favorite songs
· Cuddle your pet
· Make one small adjustment towards improving your eating habits
· Call or text a loved one to say hello
· Focus on your sleep and make changes in your routine to increase sleep success
· Review micro-successes daily – it is easy to overlook successes and accomplishments

These little activities add up and help improve mood and reduce anxiety which consequently can reduce chronic pain as well.

In the end, and above all else, practice self-compassion. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend that is having a difficult time. Let your internal bully go! Let him go bug someone else. You are doing your best!

If you found the information here helpful and would like to talk further about any of the points in depth, feel free to reach out to our office 775-284-8650 or talk with you provider at your next appointment. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety (or anything in between), break the silence. Talk with your provider, so they can get you connected with help for your mental health.


Over 90% of our facet joint injection patients report improvement in their condition. Over 75% said their condition improved by more than 50%

Over 83% of our epidural patients report improvement in their condition. Over 75% said their condition improved by more than 50%

Overall, 83% of our patients report a better quality of life, 60% report less pain, and 62% report improvement in their function

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