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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Self-care for chronic pain

Treating chronic (persistent) pain focuses on understanding and managing your pain. It also focuses on improving your quality of life. The causes and triggers of chronic pain are complex and treating it needs several approaches.

You're the only person who can ever know what it's like to live with your pain. So, self-care is the most important part of managing your pain.

Make healthy lifestyle choices

Healthy lifestyle changes can be very helpful. These include:

See your GP if you're suffering from depression or anxiety. This is very common in people who have chronic pain. Treating your depression or anxiety through counselling, self-directed therapy or medication will help your pain.

Try relaxation activities like tai chi and meditation, which can really help to manage chronic pain.

Develop a pain management plan with your GP or specialist.

Setbacks or flare-ups are a normal part of chronic pain. Develop a pain setback plan for how you will deal with them.

Make sure you have enough support. Talk to your whānau/family and friends so they can understand what you're going through. If they understand, they can provide support where you need it.

Retrain Pain is a free course that teaches you techniques for overcoming chronic pain. Through a series of one-minute videos, it uses a science-based approach to reducing symptoms.

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On the next page: Medication for chronic pain

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2021.


See also:

Acute plans

Preparing for your doctor's visit

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Page reference: 79021

Review key: HICHP-79018