Kirsty's our Expert in Pain Management, having worked as a Specialist Pain Nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for over 10 years.
Everyone's situation is different, whether yours is acute or chronic pain. We'll help you better understand the cause and effects of your pain and offer ways you can manage your situation better. We usually take a biopsychosocial approach to pain management with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a typical self-management route. Whilst we don't prescribe pain medication we can liaise with your GP or healthcare professional, as appropriate.
Please get in touch for a conversation and we can explore what we can offer you.
Here's an extract from The Crisis Book, about Acute and Chronic Pain;
Acute pain is short term and covers issues like sprains, broken bones, labor and childbirth, dental work, etc. Acute pain serves a vital protective rehabilitation function to keep us moving an injured area during recovery. This injury usually heals. By contrast, chronic pain lasts more than three months and is associated with severe headaches, lower-back pain, cancer, arthritis and nerve damage.
While other people might be able to see the physical effects of the pain we’re suffering, it’s usually difficult to get a sense of how it’s affecting us emotionally and psychologically. Pain is a message from the brain that something is wrong, but the brain can sometimes send conflicting signs and confuse what is wrong. Half the battle is working out the real cause and the other half is about living a full life, even with the pain.
Acute pain. If you experience an unusual pain, one that is excruciating or ongoing, get checked out by your medical doctor or visit the emergency department.
Nonprescription. Don’t under-estimate the benefits of non-prescription ‘“wonder-drugs”. People often think that only prescription medications are good. Wrong. Be careful, though, as even non-prescription medications can become addictive.
Acceptance. Appreciate that you will have good days and bad days. It’s OK to have bad days, but know that you’ll have good days again soon. It’s about accepting the reality of the situation and not giving yourself a hard time emotionally.
Ageing. What you could do as a spritely 15 year old was what you could do as a spritely 15 year old! As part of the ageing process, you’re going to notice things you can’t do as well as you did in the past. That’s normal. It happens to everyone.
Limitations. You need to find your baseline. This is the point up to which you feel pain or find that it worsens. Ensure that you stop doing an activity or action before you reach that baseline point. This becomes easier with practise and self-monitoring.
Journal. Create a “pain diary” to monitor what contributes to good and bad days, and plan accordingly.
Exercise. Some exercise can actually help improve your posture, maintain muscle tone, increase your confidence, boost mood and general well-being, and reduce the fear of your pain. (See Exercise)
Relax. While it’s good to exercise, it’s also good to relax and soothe your mind and body. This is about self-care, looking after yourself and appreciating your limits.
Stay positive. Guard against negative thinking, which can pull you down emotionally and lead to depressive thoughts and potentially reinforce the pain. (See Negative Thinking)
Clinics. Some pain clinics offer a structured rehabilitation and normalization plan. Check with your medical doctor about what is available in your area.
Limitations. Advances in medicine give the impression that there’s a cure for everything. Surgery doesn’t always provide the solution and can make things worse.
Individual. It’s your pain; you manage it your way. Medication isn’t going to solve everything on its own, though it may ease symptoms. It’s about creating your personal plan, what you can do to think differently, act differently and behave differently to limit the impact pain has on your life.