How do I Support Someone Living with Chronic Pain?

To support someone living with chronic pain is difficult.  If you know them well then you will know the best way to support them.  Each person is different and the level of support they will need depends on their personality, the seriousness of their condition, their tolerance to pain, and their need to discuss their pain.

If you are supporting someone with pain, remember the following:

  • The patient with pain is a person and the pain prevents them from doing the things that they normally do.
  • Ask the person with pain to assess the severity of pain with a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. This person may get sick of you asking them the question, but it will help you to understand what they need support with and if they require assistance with daily activities.
  • Learn to recognise that the person is in chronic pain – watch for gritting teeth, clenching hands, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, decreased activity or even suicidal thoughts.
  • Listen to the person in pain, listen to what they are saying and what they are not saying. Do they need your assistance to do something?
  • Understand and respect the person’s physical limitations – the person may be able to stand for 10 minutes on one day but may not be able to do it on the following day. Each day is different and the pain level may differ on different days.  Pain is never consistent.

If you would like more strategies to deal with managing chronic pain, download the Beatpain App today.