Definition of Pain

Acute Pain

Acute pain can be severe but usually gets better quite quickly (days or weeks), treatments usually only need to be given for a short time whilst healing of the injury begins.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can cause low mood, irritability, poor sleep and reduced ability to move around. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain is difficult to treat with most types of treatment helping less than a third of patients. Most treatments aim to help you self-manage your pain and improve what you can do. Different treatments work for different people. Medicines generally and opioids in particular are often not very effective for chronic pain. Other non-medicine treatments may be used such as electrical stimulating techniques (TENS machine), acupuncture, advice about activity and increasing physical fitness, and psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and meditation techniques such as mindfulness. Helping you understand about chronic pain is important and in particular helping you understand that physical activity does not usually cause further injury and is therefore safe. It is important that you understand that treatments tend not to be very effective and that the aim is to support you in functioning as well as possible.

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain associated with injury to nerves or the nervous system. Types of neuropathic pain include, sciatica following disc prolapse, nerve injury following spinal surgery, pain after infection such as shingles or HIV/AIDS, pain associated with diabetes, pain after amputation (phantom limb pain or stump pain) and pain associated with multiple sclerosis or stroke. Neuropathic pain is usually severe and unpleasant. Medicines may be used to treat neuropathic pain but are usually not very effective and work for a small proportion of people. You may not benefit from the first drug tried so you may need to try more than one drug to try and improve symptoms.

Opioids Aware 2016.Faculty of Pain Medicine


Understanding Pain in 5 minutes and what you to do about it!

A great introduction into thinking about pain and how it affects our mind and body

Tame the beast

Short series of films developed by healthcare professionals to help you understand and manage your

British Pain Society The patient section has downloadable leaflets and detailed information. The British Pain Society represents a large number of health professionals working in pain management

Pain toolkit is a self-management tools offering downloadable booklets

Sheffield Back Pain & offers links to their websites for other joint pains

CHARITIES offer lots of information and resources including booklets & magazines, newsletters and forums to join

Arthritis Research UK

Painline 0345 6031593 Email:

Pain Support

Pain Concern Helpline: 0300 123 0789 – operates Monday to Friday: 10-12am and 2-4pm

FREE online course offering help and support –“Living with chronic pain” is a free self-help CD covering pain management strategies (You can either listen online or download)

My Pain Concern Form

Symptom Log

Pain Diary