Resources for patients

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The Pain Cycle – visual aid

The Pain Cycle is a visual aid that helps patients recognise how pain can affect different aspects of their life in negative and self-reinforcing ways.

Its companion diagram, the Self Care Cycle, shows the positive outcomes of adopting a range of self-management approaches to undo or limit the impact of pain.

How to use The Pain Cycle

  • Listen to the patient’s story and actively tick off areas that are apply to them on the Pain Cycle sheet, showing it to the patient as you go along
  • Explain why it will help to shift the focus towards those aspects of their life that they can change
  • Give the patient the sheet and ask the patient to tick off the three most important areas they want to change now. You can repeat these steps for this month / next month
  • If the patient is not sure which areas to change, let them take the sheet away and agree to review their three choices at the follow up

Download the Pain Cycle

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