What do I have in my pain Toolkit?

What is a Pain Toolkit?

Peter Moore came up with the concept in 2002 while writing a self-management article for healthcare professionals all over Europe to help their patients manage pain. He is also a chronic pain sufferer and realised that what he had actually written was a Toolkit of pain management skills that he could use to better manage his life and teach others to do the same.

Just like a mechanic needs a set of tools to fix cars, so does someone with chronic pain.
There are 12 tools and to get the best result they need to be used everyday. You need to be an active participant in self managing your pain and not expect your team to do all the work.

  1. Acceptance- The most important tool, realising that you have chronic pain and want to try and self manage it.
  2. Get involved- You will need support from family, friends, professionals, these make up your team but you need to put the work in as well.
  3. Pacing - Don't try to do everything in one go, have frequent breaks and spread it out over the day one bit at a time 
  4. Prioritising- Look at what needs doing and what can wait for another day
  5. Setting Goals- Make realistic goals daily that you can achieve, you can always ask your team for help
  6. Be patient- Don't get annoyed with yourself if you are not doing as well as you want, it takes time and you need to realise nothing will change overnight, it may take weeks or months 
  7. Relaxation- This can be anything you find helps to relax tense muscles and calm the mind, meditation, listening to music, reading or having a bath are some examples
  8. Exercising- This is one of the last things you feel like doing when in pain but it is important even just simple stretches to help tight muscles, gentle swimming or just walking in the water. Over time the body will be grateful for it. Talk with your Physiotherapist about a programme.
  9. Track progress- Great way to see how well you have been doing and any improvements needed by keeping a diary of your activities.
  10. Setback plans- Talk to your professionals about this if you are not sure, these are great for when you have flare-up's to help you self manage  
  11. Teamwork- You are not on your own your team are there to help you when you need them, they can help you to track your progress and make action plans.
  12. Daily practice- This is important and will become routine after a while, all part of self managing pain 
first aid kit

What I have in my EDS Pain Toolkit

I am already using the tools above not everyday but mostly. I am sure you are without even knowing. I was first introduced to the Pain Toolkit when I went to see a pain team and we talked about each one of the tools and watched a video about them.

I am still trying to find products that actually make a difference to my EDS pain which occurs on a daily basis and the flare-up's are triggered very easily. I have tried so many different products to help ease my pain and nothing unfortunately makes a real big difference. I am working with my medical team to find suitable medication to help as they either cause reactions or make no difference at all.

The things I find most helpful are:

  • Heat/Ice Microwaveable wheat wraps different sizes for different areas and cool packs activated by squeezing them, stays cold for one hour can help in the early stage of my pain
  • Kinesio tape great for taping painful unstable joints and not restricting movement but providing support and helping proprioception
  • Cohesive bandage self adhesive bandage no pins needed provides support to painful areas but need to be careful not to apply too tight and restrict circulation
  • Capsacin gel Special ingredient from chilli pepper used to apply to painful areas for a numbing sensation, only lasts a few minutes unfortunately, is similar to Tiger Balm
  • Braces not to wear all the time but good for support for specific activities which you know will cause pain 
  • Meditation not for pain relief but to help your mind, I listen to an app on my phone daily 
  • Cushions various shapes and sizes. My bed is surrounded with them to provide support to my body
  • Medication various types
  • Good quality rest where the whole body is fully supported with cushions and can allow the muscles to recover properly from working too hard.
What do you have in your pain Toolkit?
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  1. This is such a good post and might help a few people out with getting their pain kit in order. I don't have one that hold so many things as I only get some really bad headaches now and then so I always have something on me that will hep me out.
    Lea, xx

  2. I found this really interesting, and will certainly be passing it on to any friends with chronic pain! I’ve never heard them talk about the 12 piece toolkit, but I love that concept! Like Lea, the worst I get is a cold, a bad headache, the occasional migraine, or sometimes a bad hip, so I tend to just keep a couple of paracetamol handy.

  3. Great post and quite informative. Never heard of Peter Moore but he came up with a great idea.