Coping with Pain - Arthritis Ireland

The importance of exercise in keeping you healthy and relieving stiffness. Specific methods of pain control such as massage, relaxation, hypnosis, counselling,.
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Arthritis Ireland 1 Clanwilliam Square Grand Canal Quay Dublin 2

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LoCall 1890 252 846 [email protected]

Coping with Pain

PERSONAL DETAILS Arthritis Ireland, making a BIG difference everyday Little things can make a big difference to a person with arthritis. Difficulty with the little things like making a cup of tea, getting dressed or opening the front door can all add up to have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. At Arthritis Ireland we understand this. That is why we are Ireland’s only organisation working single-mindedly to transform the experience of people living with arthritis, and those who care for them. Every day, we work in communities across the country providing community based education programmes to help people effectively manage and control this devastating disease. We actively drive grassroots advocacy so that the voice of people with arthritis is heard and understood and we work with the medical community to control and cure arthritis. If arthritis is affecting your life or the life of someone you love, call us and talk to someone who understands, someone who will listen, chat and point you towards the people, resources and programmes that can make a big difference to your life. If you would like to volunteer, help raise funds or make a donation, call us on 01 6618188, log on to arthritisireland. ie or find us on facebook.

€36 per annum

Other (€36 + donation)

€20 per annum OAP

Pain is part of daily life for many people living with arthritis. This booklet is for anyone with arthritis who wants to work at controlling their own pain. It will help you get a better understanding of what pain is and will explain a range of methods for dealing with pain. Different types of pain management work for different people – everyone is unique. Arming yourself with information is the first step along the road to pain control and living life with arthritis to the full.


Contents Pain management


How pain can affect people with arthritis The pain cycle The pain barrier The importance of focusing away from pain Pain control methods


How to use your joints to avoid stress and pain The benefits of self-help groups and what self-management is The importance of exercise in keeping you healthy and relieving stiffness Specific methods of pain control such as massage, relaxation, hypnosis, counselling, complementary therapies and drugs Next steps


Where you can find help, the role of your healthcare team and pain clinics Tips for your own pain management


PAIN MANAGEMENT Learning to cope with chronic (long-lasting) pain may be the biggest challenge you face as a person with arthritis. But many people with arthritis have discovered that something can be done. You have probably noticed that your arthritis and your pain vary from time to time. Everyone’s arthritis and pain are different. There are no easy answers or quick solutions to learning to live with pain – what may be very helpful for some people might not work at all for others. By trying some of the different ways of controlling pain listed within this booklet, you will probably find a combination that works for you. The ideas which follow have all been used by people with arthritis, with both positive and negative results.

Pain and arthritis Pain is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. It is normally the body’s way of signaling that something is wrong. Excessive irritation or injury stimulates nerves in the area to release chemicals that excite nearby nerve fibres. These nerve fibres are like tiny telephone wires that transmit confusing sensations to your brain, where the signals are recognised as pain.

‘I grew to accept pain as part of my life and worked out ways in which