Often times, getting treatment for chronic pain can be a long journey. There is no single treatment or approach to successfully treating chronic pain any more than there is a standard person with chronic pain. Rather, there are various different types of treatment options. Because chronic pain affects so many people there are many products and services claiming to help people with chronic pain. People with chronic pain spend a lot of money trying to resolve their condition with products or services. Many of these products or services have little or no value or have not been rigorously tested. But there are also credible products, services and self-management techniques that are effective in helping people better cope with chronic pain.
Note: If you are searching for treatments and health information on the internet, make sure you look at our guidelines for finding trustworthy information and discuss anything you find there with your doctor.
The following are treatment options that are proven to be effective in helping people with chronic pain.
Before undertaking any of these treatments, you should talk with your doctor about what options might work well with your existing treatment.
Communicating with Your Doctor
Many people find it hard to talk frankly and openly with their doctors. But doctors aren’t mind readers and speaking up is an essential part of being a responsible patient. Dr. Donald Cegala at the University of Ohio developed a program called PACE to help patients communicate with their physicians. PACE stands for:
Presenting the doctor with detailed information about how you are feeling.
Asking all those questions you’ve kept in your mind. Often, it helps to write down a list of questions before the visit.
Checking the information the doctor gave you to ensure you fully understand your condition and treatments.
Expressing any concerns or fears you may have about a medication or treatment or anything else.
Check for PACE workshops in British Columbia hosted by the Division of Health Care Communication at the University of British Columbia.
Talking with Your Doctor and other Health Professionals Webinar - Hosted by CIRPD and PainBC, this webinar features Drs Godolpin and Towle talking about the PACE communication framework and how people with pain can best communicate with their doctors.
Communication Videos - Videos from UBC's Division of Healthcare Communication for patients and health professionals on effective communication.
Communication Tools - Communicating with your doctor can be difficult. This tool set includes a pain log, follow up card, fibro log, quality of life scale and more.
Tips to Communicate with Doctors - Tips on communicating with your doctor about the complimentary health practices you are doing in conjunction with other treatments.
Moving toward Self-Management
Many people living with chronic pain believe that medical practitioners are the experts and should therefore know what they need. But while health professionals have training and experience in treating pain, a person knows his or her feelings, thought processes, experiences and body best. That’s why the scientific research increasingly shows that self-management of pain can often be the most effective form of treatment.
Last Updated: July 5, 2011
Reviewed by: Marc White PhD, Scientific & Executive Director, CIRPD