Supporting self management

Using the Pain Toolkit

The Pain Toolkit is one of many written self management resources for patients to use.

It is a 24 page booklet which was put together in 2008 by Pete Moore, who has long-term pain and other health problems, together with pain management clinicians.

The toolkit guides the person through twelve tools to help them understand ways they can manage their pain.

The twelve tools are:

  • Tool 1 – Accept that you have persistent pain… and then begin to move on
  • Tool 2 – Get involved, building a support team
  • Tool 3 – Pacing
  • Tool 4 – Learn to prioritise / plan out your days
  • Tool 5 – Setting Goals / Action Plans
  • Tool 6 – Being patient with yourself
  • Tool 7 – Learn relaxation skills
  • Tool 8 – Stretching & Exercise
  • Tool 9 – Keep a diary and track your progress
  • Tool 10 – Have a setback plan
  • Tool 11 – Teamwork
  • Tool 12 – Keeping it up. Putting into daily practice the tools 1-11

You can download a copy of the Pain Toolkit here

We have found that, of the twelve tools, the three which people with pain find most valuable in helping them self manage well are:

  • Acceptance (Tool 1)
  • Pacing everyday activities (Tool 3 )
  • Being patient and kind to oneself (Tool 6)

Have a copy ready for your patient

It is useful to have a full copy of the Pain Toolkit printed off – or at least pages 1-4 – to share directly with the patient.

Introduce this with questions like:

  • “I wonder if we need to look at managing this pain in a different way”
  • “This type of pain problem often needs a different approach, would you like to explore this further with me? We can try this toolkit kit to help us”

Explore the questions in the second and third pages with the patient to help them recognise their patterns of behaviour that contribute to their pain distress.

Listen to the pain story

Listen to their story of how pain affects them – especially at present. Tick the areas as they share them with you.

Personalise the Toolkit

Personalise the cycle on page 2 with some details of their impact, so that it’s relevant to them and shows you are listening.

Let them take away these pages with details.

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