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Chronic pain is said to be persistent pain that lingers on for more than 12 weeks despite intervention with medication or other forms of treatment [6]. Pain can last for months or even years after the body has healed.[9]



  • Having Chronic and painful conditions such as arthritis.

  • If you have depression it may change the way your brain processes and receives messages from the nervous system.

  • Smoking elevates pain.

  • Being overweight puts strain on your body.

  • Women are seen to have a greater risk as they are more sensitive to pain. This could be hormonal.

  • Age: people who are older than 65 are more susceptible to conditions that may produce chronic pain.



* The exact cause of chronic pain is unknown. It often follows an injury or painful condition. These include: [7] *

  • Arthritis

  • Back pain

  • Headaches

  • Muscle pains or strains

  • Repetitive stress injuries

  • Fibromyalgia: where muscle pain is throughout the body.

  • Nerve damage

  • Lyme disease

  • Broken bones

  • Cancer

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Endometriosis

  • Surgery

  • Acid reflux or ulcers



Symptoms may vary, however, may include any or a combination of: [8]

  • Low back pain

  • Headaches

  • Joint pain

  • Muscle aches

  • Burning or tingling pain in different parts of the body

  • Holts of sharp pain



Medications to control pain such as anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, anticonvulsants or opioids may be prescribed. In addition to these medications other remedies may be included, such as: [8]

  • Behavioural modification, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

  • Acupuncture.

  • Psychotherapy.

  • Biofeedback.

  • Hypnosis.

  • Occupational therapy.

  • Physical therapy.

  • Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, visual imagery, etc.

  • Nerve blocks..

  • Surgery to treat underlying conditions.



  • Regular exercise which is of low-impact such as walking, cycling, swimming or yoga. At least 30 minutes a day for at least five days in a week.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Same hours everyday of about 7 to 9. Try to avoid napping throughout the day.

  • Quit smoking to improve your general health.

  • Find techniques to help you manage stress properly. Speak to your doctor about this.

  • Try keep yourself busy and moving around. Laying down and sitting may cause additional pain and disability.


  • Counselling for emotional and mental problems that you may be facing due to the chronic pain.

  • Exercise: which releases natural endorphins which help improve your mood.

  • Managing stressors: if you can avoid stress do so, however, find techniques to relieve stress such as, listening to music which can lift your mood, mental relaxation imagery, meditations, etc.

  • Socialize more, whether it be with family or friends. Having the support helps you cope emotionally and mentally.

  • Speak to the doctor about cognitive behavioural therapy which can help with the negative thoughts that may increase emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, etc.


  • Sleep on your stomach with your back facing the ceiling. Have a pillow to support your head and neck and one under your lower abdomen.

  • Foetal position: lie on your side and draw knees to your chest. Have a pillow to support your head and neck and you can also have a pillow between your knees.

  • Sleeping on your back with you facing the ceiling. Have a pillow to support your head and neck, one under your lower back and one under your knees.

  • Sleep on your side. Have a pillow supporting your head and neck and one between your feet.

  • Reclined position: can invest in a bed that reclines or find ways to put your feet higher than your body. This can be done with pillows or blankets.



  • Breathing exercises: breathe deeply repeatedly for about ten cycles. Breathe in for a count of three, hold breath for a count of three and then breath out for a count of three.

  • Meditation: this is by sitting or lying down. Block all noises and thoughts and concentrate on your breathing without controlling it. Start with a period of five minutes and increase as you get better at it.

  • Stretching exercises and muscle relaxation exercise: do simple stretch exercises for the various muscle groups. Focus on also tensing and relaxing these muscles groups after the stretch exercises.

  • Mental imagery: Close your eyes and focus on an image that helps you feel, safe, comfortable and relaxed. This can be a place, noise, sound, smell, taste, event or memory and can also be a feeling. Focus on this with a period of 5 minutes as a start then increase as you master the technique.


  1. Gill, S. [Internet]. How should you sleep if you have lower back pain?. United Kingdom: Health Media; [updated 2018 Feb 10; cited 2019 Aug 15]. Available from:

  2. Mayo Clinic staff. Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain. America: Mayo Clinic; [updated 2014 May 21; cited 2019 Aug 15]. Available from:

  3. Pain Management Network [Internet]. Segment 5- Relaxation techniques and mindfulness. Australia: Agency for clinical Innovation; [updated 2019; cited 2019 Aug 15]. Available from:

  4. WebMD [Internet]. Stress Relaxation and Natural Pain Relief. Atlanta, US: WebMD LLC; [updated 2017 Aug 24; cited 2019 Aug 15]. Available from:

  5. WebMD [Internet]. Quality of Life Scale for pain. 11 Tips for Living with Chronic Pain. Atlanta, US: WebMD LLC; [updated 2018 Jun 14; cited 2019 Aug 15]. Available from:

  6. NHS Inform [Internet]. Chronic pain. United Kingdom: NHS 24; [updated 2019 Jul 09; cited 2019 Sep 04]. Available from:

  7. WebMD [Internet]. What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?. America: WebMD LLC; [updated 2018 Nov 28; cited 2019 Sep 04]. Available from:

  8. Colombia University of Neurology [Internet]. Chronic Pain Syndrome. Colombia: Colombia University Irving Medical Center; [updated 2015; cited 2019 Sep 04]. Available from:

  9. Christiano, D. [Internet]. What is Chronic Pain Syndrome. America: Healthline Media; [updated 2018 May 24; cited 2019 Sep 04]. Available from:

  10. Divisions of Family Practice [Internet]. Chronic pain. Colombia: Kootenay Boundary; [cited 2019 Sep 10]. Available from:

  11. Jungwirth, B. [Internet]. Opioids Are Not a First-Line Treatment for Chronic Pain, Pain Specialist Says. America: Remedy health media LLC; [updated 2016 Oct 06; cited 2019 Sep 10]. Available from:

  12. NeuroSpa [Internet]. Chronic pain. Canada: NeuroSpa Brain Rejuvenation Center; [cited 2019 Sep 10]. Available from:

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