Are you one of the 23% of people who suffer from chronic pain?
Do you need more help in managing your pain?
Then you’re in the right place.
Don’t suffer in silence. We can help.
We understand chronic pain. We understand what chronic pain is, how it differs from acute pain, and why that means you need to take a different approach to your pain management. We’ve put together a range of resources to better manage your chronic pain. Ways to help you change your relationship to your chronic pain. Ways to untwist your negative thinking about your pain. Ways to manage the impact of your pain so you can limit how it dominates your life. We’ll help you take back control.
And, if you still need more help, you can buy our highly interactive, two-hour training course where you’ll take away a chronic pain management plan specific to your pain. It costs just £50, and you have the course for life. As The Economist notes, vast sums of money are wasted on treatments for chronic pain conditions like back pain, so spending £50 on our online training course might be the best investment in your pain management you'll ever make.
Pain is the most common reason that people go to the doctor. It affects young people as well as the elderly. We’re finding out more and more about chronic pain every day - what causes it, and how best to manage it.
Your pain probably isn't visible. You might be suffering in silence. You've likely tried all sorts of treatments - pain medication, physical therapy, acupuncture - to reduce your pain.
But chronic pain isn’t the same as acute pain. The treatment is different. Modern medicine generally fails people with chronic pain. Watch this video to find out why:
Chronic pain needs a different approach to acute pain. In short, in chronic pain, your brain's fire alarm doesn't switch off when the fire - injury to your body - has gone away. So your treatment plan instead needs to be about managing your pain rather than seeking to treat the immediate physical damage.
You can find out more about the difference between acute and chronic pain in our training course.
Still unsure whether you’re suffering from chronic pain rather than acute pain? Take our questionnaire to find out.
You can also watch this wonderful video about one person’s struggle with chronic pain. Or listen to this podcast, where a sufferer of chronic pain, who works as a nurse, talks about her relationship to her pain, and what has helped her pain management.
OK, we’ve established you’re suffering from chronic pain. What should you do to manage your pain?
Your pain management plan should focus on developing clear goals in three key areas of your life: physical, psychological and social. This is also known as the biopsychosocial model. Find out more in this video:
For example, some things you might want to focus on in your pain management plan include:
Taking care of your body is a crucial element of your pain management plan. Remember: even on bad pain days, you should try some sort of movement. With chronic pain, complete rest is usually unhelpful. These comprehensive stretching, yoga and pilates exercises from the NHS Fitness Studio might help. In the training course, we go into much more detail on how to best pace your daily exercise plans, specific to your pain. One key element is to make exercise as easy and fun as possible. Research shows that you'll go to they gym five times more often if it's a few miles closer to home.
A significant element of your response to chronic pain is about acceptance of reality, including the reality of your pain. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be a core element of a successful treatment programme for chronic pain. There are lots of meditation apps out there like Calm and Headspace, and these meditations from Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), are available free. Simple mindfulness exercises like the 4-7-8 breathing technique can help:
If you are struggling with unrealistic, negative thoughts about your pain, you may want to consider whether you're falling prey to one of the many cognitive biases, such as black and white thinking. Here is an example of someone falling into a negative cycle based on black and white thinking about their pain:
Here is an excellent list of ways to untwist your thinking. Your aim is to get to the reality of the situation. You're not trying to give yourself false optimism. Find out what works best for you. Our training course on managing chronic pain goes into much more detail on how to overcome the classic cognitive distortions, as do these books by Seth Gillihan and David Burns.
Are you making too many decisions based on your pain? Are you staying home too often, telling yourself that activity leads to pain, and pain is always bad? Instead, you'll want to work towards doing more activities you enjoy, and seeing the people you care about, while acknowledging, and responding to, the reality of your pain. You might need to expand your support team so that you are working with the right physical therapist, the right GP, the right personal trainer. We tell how you much more about how to do all that, and more, in our training course.
You'll need to build a chronic pain management plan around what works for you. Setting and reaching your goals isn't always easy, though. So, we've put together some handouts on making sure your goals link to your values. You can also take our questionnaire to find out whether you're someone who struggles to set and stay committed to your long-term goals.
You can take back control of your life, even if you suffer from intensive, chronic pain. We're here to help.
And finally, a reminder. We’ve put together a highly interactive, two-hour course to help you put together an evidence-based pain management plan specific to your pain.
In this course, we cover:
- The difference between acute and chronic pain, and why chronic pain requires a specific and unique management plan
- Why your pain continues even when your original injury or illness has "gone away"
- Evidence-based tools and techniques you can use daily and immediately - broken down into the biological, psychological and social spheres of your life
- How you can set realistic goals for the management of your pain
- How you can best pace your daily activities to build sustainable improvements in your life
- How you can build the best support team around you, and how you can make best use of the wide array of resources for those with chronic pain
If you think this course might be for you, click on the play button on the video to watch the first five minutes of the course. As the principles of chronic pain management are applicable to a wide range of conditions, we've made sure that this course is relevant if you're suffering from:
- Fibromyalgia or lupus
- Unidentified pain
- Joint or nerve pain, neuralgia and sciatica
- Back pain, slipped and bulging discs
- Cancer pain
- Neck pain
- Rotator cuff injuries, frozen shoulder and tennis elbow
- Chronic fatigue and muscle ache
- Migraine and chronic headaches
- Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- Sickle cell disease
The course is led by Graham Johnston, a therapist and executive coach with over a decade's experience in working successfully with a range of clients in physical and emotional pain.