The most important factor in managing pain is the role of the patient. Self-management is the best way to improve your level of activity, reduce disability and keep pain to a minimum.
When people take control over their pain, they feel empowered and able to resume normal activities—or even learn something new. There is no better feeling than that, for people who have been controlled by pain.
No matter how disabled and down you feel due to pain, there are things you can do to make lasting changes. It all begins with small steps.
If you would like to take charge of your pain management, these three steps will keep you on track:
Accept the pain. Accept that the pain is unlikely to disappear, but recognise that you can do things to mimimise its impact on your life and reduce the severity of the pain.
Change the way you think about pain. When you realise that pain in itself is not harmful and learn not to react to it in a negative way you can “retrain your brain”.
Pace yourself. Incorporate a sufficient amount of activity every day and keep it at an even level throughout the day. This will help keep your body conditioned, keep your pain to a minimum and reduce the risk of flare-ups sparked by overactivity.