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Taking control of your pain

Severe back pain that lasts more than a few days or weeks can be distressing, and affect your mood, your sleep, your ability to work, and to cope with all the other tasks we have to do every day – even putting socks on can be a struggle, and as for picking up a toddler – forget it!

How you feel about pain, and how positive you are in general, can have a big impact on how well you cope with pain. Understanding the cause of your pain or accepting that a cause can’t be found, and having realistic expectations about your back condition, may be an important step in learning to cope with pain.

In addition to using pain killers, either from your pharmacy or prescribed by your doctor, be aware of what makes your pain better or worse. If you feel worse after you have rested, you need to think about ways of increasing your activity levels. If you find that you are in more pain after a particular activity try to find ways of pacing yourself or changing the way you do that activity, so that you don’t overdo it.

Some practical tips