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Improving life with long-term pain: Resources

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What resources could I use to help me understand pain and pain management?

There is a wide range of free online resources to help support pain management for people with persistent pain. These include information on managing aspects of life which may impact on your pain, like sleep, mood and movement.

Jump straight to: Understanding Pain    Self-management    Mental Health and Wellbeing    Exercise and Movement    Medication    Local Swansea Bay Services    User forums and helplines

Understanding pain

Understanding how persistent pain works can help you develop better ways of living well with pain.

A woman with a cuppa The British Pain Society provides information, including a list of UK-based patient organisations, a Frequently Asked Questions section and suggested reading. Go here to access the British Pain Society website.

The website Flippin' Pain has pain science information presented in an easily accessible way with options to read, watch and listen to. Go here to access Flippin' Pain

Live Well with Pain provides a number of resources to support people understand their pain. Go here to access the Live Well with Pain website.

Pain Concern provides a range of resources including information leaflets on different types of pain. Go here to access the Pain Concern website.



Toolkits are available to support the understanding and self-management of pain by providing information, advice, and a variety of strategies for daily life.

A picture of an older man exercising The Live Well With Pain website has a Ten Footsteps programme to living well despite persistent pain. This can be found within the resources section of the website. Go here to access the Live Well with Pain website

The Pain Toolkit is an NHS step-by-step guide. Go here to access The Pain Toolkit.


Accepting that persistent pain cannot be cured, but that managing it well can improve everyday life considerably. It's learning to be patient with yourself to take some of the pressure away from life and allow you to do things in a way that looks after your pain level.

Go here to the Live Well With Pain website for more information on acceptance.

Mental Health and Wellbeing


Relaxation can help to keep you calm and improve your mood. Mindfulness can help you be OK with the fact you experience pain.

A woman relaxing outside Pain Concern: Go here to access the Pain Concern website to access leaflets.

Mindfulness: Go here for NHS advice and tips on mindfulness


Looking after your sleep patterns can help with being better able to meet the challenges and difficulties of everyday life.

The Live Well With Pain website gives advice on sleeping better. Go here to access the Live Well with Pain website

The Pain Concern website has leaflets available with advice on sleeping: Go here to access the Pain Concern website to access leaflets. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

A close up of a man This is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

SilverCloud is an NHS Wales online programme to support mental health and wellbeing, for example anxiety, depression, stress, sleep issues, etc. Go here to access the SilverCloud website.


Exercise and movement

Exercising within your capabilities can help to keep you fitter and stronger, and can help with feeling better more generally. Start any exercise programme slowly and build up steadily. Movements may be painful but, with persistent pain, it’s more to do with a sensitive nervous system rather than something structural. In other words, persistent pain does not mean harm.

A picture of people doing yoga If you follow the videos below and find some of the movements difficult or too painful, try to adapt them or reduce the repetitions.  Avoiding movement leads to loss of strength, stiffness and eventually more pain. The key is to feel challenged, but confident. Pick something you enjoy, as you are more likely to stick with it. Exercise doesn't need to make you out of breath or make you sweat - it can be relaxing and restorative too.

Muscle soreness and set-backs are normal following an activity you haven't done for a while. If this happens, keep moving gently, but give yourself a chance to recover before doing another challenging set of exercises. Keep a diary of the levels of exercise you can tolerate without ‘flaring’ up your pain. This way you won’t have so many set-backs. Set yourself an exercise goal and don’t forget to reward yourself if you achieve it. 

Please see also:

Go here for NHS chair-based exercises

Go here for Easy Tai Chi/Qi Gong video

Go here for NHS gentle exercises sitting and standing

Go here for exercise for strength and balance - suitable for all abilities

Go here for Yoga4Health, a free 10-week online course for patients, NHS and frontline staff

Go here for gentle yoga for chronic pain - mat based 

National Exercise Referral Scheme

The National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) is a Welsh Government funded scheme managed by Public Health Wales, operating across all 22 Local Authority areas of Wales.

a picture of a woman with an exercise ball The Scheme is an evidenced based health intervention that incorporates physical activity and behavioural change, it supports individuals to make and maintain healthier lifestyle choices which will improve their health and wellbeing. It currently costs £2.00 per session.

The target population is aged 16+ who are not used to being regularly physically active and are at risk of or currently experiencing a long term or chronic health condition. 

If you are interested in attending the NERS, you will need to ask a Health Professional (usually your GP, Practice Nurse or a condition specific Physiotherapist) to refer you.

Go here for further information, including an FAQ about the scheme.


Below are links to information about medication for pain:

Go here to access the Live Well with Pain website which has information about painkillers

Go here to access information about opioids and the management of persistent pain on the Faculty of Pain Medicines website

Go here for information about Amitriptyline, Duloxetine, Gabapentin, Nortriptyline, NSAIDs and Pregabalin on the Faculty of Pain Medicine website

Go here for leaflets about Antidepressants, Gabapentin, Pregabalin and Opioids on the Pain Concern website

Local Swansea Bay services which can help

Persistent Pain Service

A picture of an older man in a bobble hat The Persistent Pain Service is a multi-disciplinary team made up of Healthcare Support Workers, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Doctors and Psychologists who all specialise in pain management. The aim of the service is to support people living with persistent pain to live life as well as possible. The team provides a range of services including an inter-disciplinary pain management programme (PMP) to help people gain more knowledge and improve skills and confidence to self-manage.

All of the support provided by the service is evidence-based and follows national and international guidelines for persistent pain management.

Go here to find out more about the Swansea Bay UHB Persistant Pain Service

Please note - if you are interested in accessing the Persistent Pain Service, you will need to ask a relevant Health Professional (e.g. your usual GP) to refer you.


Go here to find out more about Swansea Bay UHB's Physiotherapy Services

The webpage also includes further information on the causes, management and suitable exercises for a range of musculoskeletal problems, including knee pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and hip pain amongst others. Information is presented in both written and video formats.

If you are interested in accessing physiotherapy services, you can either ask your GP surgery, hospital consultant or another healthcare professional to refer you directly, or alternatively, you can self-refer by:

  • Calling the physio direct referral service or
  • Completing a paper self-referral form

Go here for details and further information on how to access physiotherapy services

You can also get additional physiotherapy information from these external websites:

Go here for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy - Physiotherapy Pain Association for a list of resources suggested by chartered physiotherapists specialising in persistent pain.

Go here for additional resources from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

User forums and patient helplines

Go here to access the Pain Concern site

Go here to access the Action on Pain site

Disclaimer: Links to external websites are for information only. Swansea Bay UHB is not responsible for the content of external websites.










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