The first step is to learn more about your pain.
Understanding your persistent pain is really important. Without this, the best pain management advice can feel like an insulting brush-off, especially if you’re being told to move more.
In previous years, pain management focused on looking for the causes and responding with treatments. This could mean months, years or even decades of tests and having one’s hopes repeatedly dashed. Today, we have a better understanding of pain mechanisms and treatment. We know that understanding your pain is essential to changing your pain experience.
Thanks to pain science, we now know that:
- Persistent pain is generally caused by an overprotective pain system
- You’re more likely to succeed when you have a clinician (doctor, nurse, physio or allied health professional) working as your ‘pain coach’ and helping you to stick to your plan
- Learning about your pain can aid your journey towards recovery
- When you understand your pain, it’s easier to increase your activity and exercise levels and to see the benefits of some sessions with a psychologist
- This can lead to gradual reductions in pain and disability – and may even help you make a full recovery over time
- This happens when you retrain your pain system to be less protective
Everyone’s pain is unique. Learning about yours can help it to go away.
This fact sheet is not specific medical advice. But we really hope that, once you’ve read it, you’ll understand more about pain and the latest ways of managing it.
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