Every day or chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than three months, or in many cases, beyond normal healing time. Chronic pain can be anything from mild to severe and be due to chronic illnesses like migraine, osteoporosis, arthritis and other musculoskeletal ailments, or after an injury or surgery. It is different to acute pain, such as pain from an injury, which happens quickly and doesn’t usually last for long.
What can I do?
Medicines alone are not the answer to chronic pain. People with chronic pain who actively manage their pain on a daily basis do better than those who rely on passive therapies, like medication or surgery. Most people benefit from a range of different treatments and self-management, such as:
- psychological techniques — you can see a psychologist or use online self-help sites
- pacing your activities
- relaxation techniques such as meditation
- exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling or tai chi
- improving your sleep
The aim of managing chronic pain is to allow you to resume do things such as socialise, work and be active generally. Reliance on medication is usually short term as you learn to regain function and cope with the symptoms of chronic pain.
Just as pain can affect your mood, improving your emotional health and wellbeing can also help you manage your pain.
Health Direct. (2018). Chronic pain. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/chronic-pain