|If you are looking at this
site because you are searching for a miracle cure for your chronic
pain, you have come to the wrong place! There are no magic
wands to be waved here, just straightforward
help/suggestions/guidance on how to effectively manage pain.
Please click here
for details of Southern Derbyshire Pain Management Service
What is Pain
who is managing chronic pain is in charge of the pain. Such
people have acknowledged
pain, and as such do not let the pain dictate their every move
and rule their lives. Pain need not necessarily cause
distress, depression and disability.
management can be defined as the combination of various
psychological techniques and practical strategies designed to
optimize physical function, quality of life and to reduce emotional
distress for people suffering with the effects of chronic
short, Pain management is about getting
back to normal life.
Unfortunately there are
many people who are unable or unwilling to effectively manage their
pain, and such people are the first to reach for the pill
bottle. By their very nature, i.e. tolerance, dependence and side
effects, analgesics should never be considered as the only way
of dealing with pain.
As a nurse, I have lost
count of the number of times I have heard people say,
"No matter how many
tablets I take, it still hurts!"
Without intending to sound
blasť, is one answer,
"Then stop taking
them and try something else!"
Acceptance of the
situation is the first step on the road to self help.
From personal experience as a chronic pain sufferer, I can
appreciate it is difficult to accept that there may never be a
cure. However, this may well be the case for many
people. Subsequently if chronic pain sufferers are in a state
of denial, they are not actively learning to cope day by day but
looking to the future when the pain is 'gone'. A sobering
thought is - this may never happen.
Getting back to
anyone who suffers will tell you, chronic pain affects the ability
to achieve things. Subsequently many activities such as work,
leisure, sleep and household tasks can easily become
management encourages people to gradually return to activities that
they have been avoiding or finding difficult. This is done
partly by a process of goal
planning - by identifying the goals to which chronic pain
sufferers wish to return, and by setting targets.
Levels of activity can be improved by using
pacing techniques and learning
gradually increasing the tolerance for a particular
People suffering with the effects of chronic
pain should learn to apply pacing techniques to everyday
activities. It is vital to
learn about your own body and what it is telling you,
i.e. not standing or walking for so long
that the pain rises to an intense level. Using a watch, time your tolerance levels
at standing / walking / sitting etc. Then apply this to your
activities, and plan 'rest breaks' - breaking activities into
manageable parts. If
possible, devise a
weekly timetable if necessary so that jobs can be carefully planned
ahead and so you do not get over-tired on any one
By doing this you
are staying in
control of your life. It is equally important not to let
others push you into doing things you know are unwise. Stay in
control of your own physical
A simple problem
solving process of assessment, planning, implementation
and evaluation can be effective for people learning to
effectively manage pain. By setting short term and long term
goals, chronic pain sufferers can go a long way towards managing
their pain. This includes rewarding themselves for
achievements, large or small.
and tackling unhelpful patterns of thinking can be challenging, but
ultimately rewarding. As people learn to look at difficult
situations in a more balanced way, they tend to feel less distressed
by their pain.
goal-planning care-plan template which can easily be copied and
printed on word is available here
click for details of other strategies for effectively managing
pain such as learning
to relax, managing
sleep, and the practical benefits of exercise.