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10 Steps to Manage Chronic Pain

1. Be Realistic

Be honest with yourself and learn all you can about your condition. You may well have to deal with the fact that you will need to deal with pain everyday. Dealing with anger and frustration is an important part of this process.

2. Get Involved

Take an active role in your health care. Find out about all the options available to you.

3. Learn Relaxation and the Value of Distraction

This will give the mind and body a break from the suffering associated with pain. You may find breathing exercises, or a hot bath may help.

4. Recognise Thoughts and Feelings

The mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. Identifying your thoughts and feelings is vital if you want to change how you relate to your pain.

5. Safe Movement

Safe movement combined with deeper breathing can improve mobility and make you feel more positive.

6. Set Priorities

With limited energy and mobility it is important to look at what matters in your life. Ask yourself: ‘What do I want?’ Never mind the ‘shoulds’

7. Set Realistic Goals

Break big tasks into smaller more manageable steps that you can achieve. Pace yourself, continually review pain and energy levels relative to activity. You will feel more in control.

8. Know your Basic Rights

You have the right to be treated with respect, to say no without guilt, to do LESS than humanly possible.

9. Communicate

Communicating clearly and effectively with family and colleagues reduces anxiety, tension, stress and suffering. Learning how to get your needs met is an important part of pain management.

10. Rediscover Hope

By using these strategies you will find that you can:
• Regain control
• Increase your sense of wellbeing
• Step out of the pain – tension – stress cycle
• Begin to get your needs met
• Lessen suffering

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