What should I do if my pain is severe?
For a small minority of people pain can be severe and disabling. The pain often means you have to rest more, or can only walk or move awkwardly.
Severe pain can result in a vicious circle of pain, anxiety and depression, and becoming unfit. It can be difficult to exercise and find other things to concentrate on.
If you're affected by severe pain you should be referred to a pain management clinic. Learning new ways to cope with pain can help.
It can be helpful in certain situations to focus more on improving your ability to function rather than trying to reduce pain. This can sometimes be achieved by developing strategies to help with fear of movement. With help from family and friends, as well as from specialists, you can still have a fulfilling life.
For more information on how to cope with severe pain, download our self-management guide, Living with long-term pain (PDF 2.03 MB).