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💡 Taking the first step makes all the difference in eliminating pain

Just being aware and starting thinking about pain is already progress. Well done for making it this far.

📆 Today's exercise

Be aware of your "aggravating factors"

Pain is very complex, it is both physical and mental and can be made better or worse by a huge number of things. Sometimes, due to having lived with pain for a long time or after having developed a new sharp pain, we can fall into the temptation of percieving the pain as something we can’t have any impact on. We don’t improve if we fall into thinking there is nothing we can do about our pain.

Take a few minutes to really understand your pain and try this exercise.

1. Identify the top 3 things that relieve your pain

First let’s identify what makes your pain feel better so that if you feel yourself stiffening up you can come back to one of these for some quick relief.

Identify three of the commonly helpful things from the list below that can help with your pain.

2. Identify the top 3 things that make your pain worse

Things we do day to day can make pain worse as well as better. We are often already aware of those, but do not actively use this information to our benefit. These are called “aggravating factors” it is good to steer clear of them to start with to potentially reduce inflamation and let the soft tissue heal.

Identify three things from the list below that make your pain feel worse.

" Remember to plan these for the reality you live in rather than the ideal world. You probably can’t lie down when you are in the office even if that best relives your pain, but you can make a plan to lie down as soon as you get home. "

3. Pain relief ideas

Now list 3 examples of how in a day you could make time to relieve your pain. This works best if you think about what might trigger you to remember to take the action you want.

4. Keep going!

Congratulations! 🎉 You’ve done your first exercise to understand your pain better and to be more aware of what in a day might affect it and how you might be able to relieve some of the adverse affects of it. You can build positive habits from this to help relieve your pain in times of need. Pain relief can be a long journey with ups and downs so don’t get disheartened if you don’t feel something immediately. Just try to be aware of how you feel and keep learning how your body reacts to what you do.

See if you can get one of these steps into your day in the next week:


  1. For the rest of today or tomorrow try to use at least one of the pain relief ideas that you’ve come up with today.

  2. See if there is anyone else that wants to try the same activities as you - having support means you’re much more likely to succeed!

  3. Sharing and opening to someone you trust often helps reduce emotional burden that comes with having any pain.

5. What’s next?

Take a minute to reflect on how you found this exercise, do you feel like your pain is more managable? Do you feel frustrated that this is something you’re having to work on? Whatever your feelings towards your pain are it is OK to be feeling them, we take things one day at a time to make improvements.

👋 Next week we’ll have a new exercise to take your understanding of your pain to an even deeper level. We look forward to seeing you then

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