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Managing Your Pain

An A-Z Guide

Resource developed with funding from the Victorian Government, and produced by the team at MOVE muscle, bone & joint health.

  • Introduction

  • How to use this guide

  • Download as PDF

  • Purchase hard copy

A        1

Acceptance:                                                                        You have pain - it doesn't have you Aids and equipment: Making your life easier


Breathing: Be conscious of each breath

C       7

Complementary medicine:                                                Working alongside conventional                      medicine

D       9

Distraction: Shift your focus

E       11

Emotions: Let them out                     Environment: Your comfort zone

F      13

Fatigue: More than just tiredness               Flares: Plan ahead

G      15

Goals: Stay focused and motivated           Guided imagery: A tranquil daydream

H       19

Heat and Cold                                                 Help: It's okay to ask                             Hydration: More than H20

I         23

Information: Take an active role


Journaling: Keep track

K       27

Keep connected: Stay in touch

L       29

Laughter: The best medicine

M       31

Massage: Not just an indulgence   Medications: Part of a good management plan Mindfulness: Be in the moment

N       37

Nutrition: you are what you eat

O      39

Ointments, creams, sprays, liniments, rubs and gels

P       41

Pacing: Know your limits Posture: Strike a pose Progressive muscle relaxation: A whole body experience

Q      47

Quit smoking: And feel better

Q       47

Quit smoking: And feel better

R        49

Reduce: Don't stop                             Relaxation: More ways than you think

S        51

Stress: A manageable part of life           Support: Everyone needs it

T        53

Teamwork: There's strength in numbers

U        55

Understand: Your pain and your condition

V        57

Visualisation: Use your imagination

W       59

Weight management: For a healthy life

X        61

Exercise: Let's get physical

Y       65

Your inner voice: Self-talk

Z       67



If you live with persistent (or chronic) pain, you’re not alone. It’s a common and complex problem that affects 1 in 5 Australians.

The good news is there are many things you can do to manage your pain. This A-Z guide will give you new ideas to try and will help you look at things you’re already doing in a fresh light.

It’s important that you don’t rely on just one thing to manage your pain, but have a variety of strategies and tools you can call on when needed. This will give you more control over your pain.

That’s why we’ve provided lots of strategies in this guide for you to sample and practise.

An important note - many of the treatment options in this guide will require you to put in some time and effort before you notice long lasting effects. You’ll need to commit yourself to regular practise, but the rewards are great.

How to use this guide

This guide is not intended to be read from front to back– although you could certainly do that.

We think the most helpful way to use this guide is to dip in, scan the contents and choose where you’d like to start. Each section is its own unique guide with information, hints, tips and links for more information.

Make notes in the columns of the guide and add your own thoughts, insights and experiences. This is your pain journey and pain guide – make it your own.

And if you have feedback on how we can improve this guide for others, please let us know.



You have pain - it doesn't have you

Accepting that you have persistent pain – or the sort of pain that looks like it’s here to stay - is an important step to managing it more effectively. Acknowledging your pain and how it affects you from day to day means you can find practical ways to deal with it.

Acceptance doesn’t mean ‘thinking positive’. It means understanding that you have pain, but pain doesn’t define who you are.

By accepting you have pain, you take control. You’re using your energy to manage and control your pain.

Consider this example:

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A Section Subtitle

Tomorrow you’re going on a trip with friends and you’ll be a passenger in a car for a few hours. You feel anxious about the trip and start to think about not going. All of your thoughts are focused on your pain - how the trip will make it worse and how you’re sure you won’t be able to enjoy yourself. But, by accepting your pain and taking control you can actively work on ways to manage it and still do the things you want to do. In this example, proactively managing your pain may include allowing extra travel time so you can stop for A MOVE MUSCLE BONE & JOINT HEALTH 2 stretch breaks, using supports (e.g. cushions) in the car to ease your pain, taking pain medication before you set off or distracting yourself from your pain by chatting with your friends. Or it may be a combination of all of these things. Whatever you choose to do, the end result is that you can enjoy the trip and have a great time with your friends. Your pain will still be there, but you’ve planned and used strategies to control it.

Purchase a physical copy of 'Managing Your Pain'.

The copy will be mailed to you.