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Face masks and social distancing: Due to the rising prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities, we strongly encourage healthcare staff and visitors to wear a face covering in all of our settings, particularly in clinical areas and those with high footfall. Please exercise a common-sense approach and personal responsibility to help us reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our patients, workforce and services. In addition to wearing a face covering, it is important to continue to maintain social distancing where possible. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation at this time. We continue to regularly review our advice based on prevalence in our communities and our hospitals.

Self-management of Persistent Pain

Pain can become the central focus of your life. It can feel like it is taking control of you and can affect almost every aspect of life. Self-management of persistent pain can take many forms. It may start with doing more obvious things that can help to reduce the pain, such as taking prescribed medications (if they are helpful), or using heat or ice. Beyond this, self-management is about stepping away from the focus on being comfortable, and from relief of the pain itself, and developing a focus on doing things that reduce the negative effects of having pain in your life.

  • Understanding how persistent pain works can help to develop better ways of living well with pain.
  • Accepting that persistent pain cannot be cured, but that managing it well can improve everyday life considerably.
  • Stretching and exercising within your capabilities can help to keep you fitter and stronger, and can help with feeling better more generally.
  • Not overdoing things on a better day can mean that the number of better days can increase over time.
  • Doing something meaningful and valuable, even on a more difficult day, can mean that there is a purpose to life, always.
  • Setting priorities each day can mean that the most important or valuable things are maintained.
  • Relaxation can help to keep you calm and improve your mood.
  • Mindfulness can help you to be okay with the fact that you experience pain.
  • Learning to be patient with yourself can help to take some of the pressure away from life and allow you to do things in a way that looks after your pain level.
  • Looking after your sleep patterns can help with being better able to meet the challenges and difficulties of everyday life.
  • Having a back-up plan for setbacks to your first choice plans can mean that when things are more difficult, the most important things are still achieved.

For most people, self-management does not come easily or naturally. It takes time and practice, but it can be at least as effective as medication in improving quality of life with persistent pain.

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We welcome correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh or English. Welsh language correspondence will be replied to in Welsh, and this will not lead to a delay. This page is available in Welsh by clicking ‘Cymraeg’ at the top right of this page.