Chronic Pain

Messages to others about chronic pain

The people we talked to passed on messages of advice to others, based on their own experience. People are all different and what works for one person might not work for someone else. Here are their comments:

  • Accept the pain and that your life has changed
  • Don't let pain get the better of you, get on with life
  • Be positive
  • Keep a sense of humour and laugh, it can make your pain feel better
  • Don't rely totally on medication 
  • Try conservative methods before medical treatments
  • Avoid surgery unless it is really needed
  • Be open to different ways of managing your pain including complementary therapies but make up your own mind what suits you best
  • Learn how to manage your pain; find out about a pain management programme or support group self-management programme
  • Try to get up and get dressed every day
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  • Don't push yourself to the limit or overdo things; learn to pace yourself
  • Pace everything you do
  • If your pain flares-up take it easy, but then build your activities back up again gradually
  • Prioritise important jobs
  • Don't live to other people's expectations
  • Set small achievable goals every day and use them to build up to bigger goals
  • Reflect on your improvement
  • Use relaxation
  • Try gentle exercise, it won't hurt you (stretch, yoga, swim, get a dog, buy a pair of trainers)
  • Start a hobby, interest, volunteer or get a job to help distract you from the pain
  • Make the best of the good days
  • Try not to be alone
  • Join a support group or talk to others with pain
  • Keep communicating with friends, family and healthcare professionals
  • Don't assume people know that you are in pain, they cannot see it
  • Ask for help and accept it when you need it
  • Don't be afraid to tell people your limitations
  • Recognise that pain is physical and emotional
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  • Don't keep it all in; have a good cry if you feel like it
  • Find a healthy way to deal with anger and frustration
  • Don't become a 'moaner'
  • Be nice to yourself
  • Get as much information as possible about pain from books, support groups and the internet
  • Ask your doctor if there is something you don't understand

Last reviewed August 2018.


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