Chronic Pain is a long term condition that unfortunately has no cure. More than a third of the population live with persistent pain. Although there is no remedy there are other self-management methods to help treat and manage persistent pain.
What is Pain?
Methods to Manage Chronic Pain and its Side Effects
- Gentle Exercise – such as walking, gardening or swimming. Activity and stretching needs to become part of your lifestyle so you routinely do exercise a little and often. Try to be active every day instead of only on the good days when you’re not in so much pain. This may reduce the number of bad days you have and help you feel more in control.
- Go to Work if you can – Research shows that people become less active and more depressed when they don’t work.
- Physical Therapy – Physiotherapists can give you advice on the right type of exercises and activity. This helps you to move better, relieves your pain, and makes daily tasks and activities easier, like walking, going up stairs or getting in and out of bed.
- Medication – It’s safe to use over-the-counter painkillers to reduce your pain so you can be more active. But it’s important to use painkillers carefully, as they have side effects. Paracetamol for adults is the simplest and safest painkiller. You could also try anti-inflammatory tablets like ibuprofen for adults as long as you don’t have a condition (such as a stomach ulcer) that prevents you using them.
It’s important to take painkillers at the recommended dose and to take them regularly every 4 to 6 hours, preferably to overcome a flare-up of your pain or help get you through an impending activity. Don’t wait until your pain is severe before you start taking painkillers, as they won’t work as well. If a 2-week course of over-the-counter painkillers does not work, ask for help from your GP or pharmacist.
General Pain Websites
Self Management Websites
The Pain Toolkit is a collection of helpful tips and strategies to manage persistent pain, developed by someone with long-term pain.
Live Well With Pain
‘Live Well with Pain’ offers resources that are tried, tested, and effective ways to develop your confidence to self-manage your pain.
Chronic Pain and Your Mental Health
Living with pain is not easy as it can make you feel tired, anxious and depressed. It is important to be kind to yourself and know that you are not alone.
If you need to speak to someone, you can self-refer to the ‘Talking Therapies’ service by calling 01922 608400.