Massage therapists might suggest another type of homecare to clients who suffer from chronic pain: A computer.

There are more than 100 million people in the U.S. living with chronic pain, and many are isolated because of their condition. Now health experts are suggesting online chatrooms may provide a helpful place for chronic pain sufferers to connect and communicate with each other.

Research published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. “describes the social stigma, gender politics, and professional repercussions that often discourage people affected by chronic pain from talking about it.”

“[The] study of the role that online chatrooms dedicated to individuals with chronic pain can have in establishing a sense of community revealed two key themes: the importance of validation and encouragement,” a press release noted.

The article is available to read for free, here: