We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
You are here:

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).


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

Ask a question

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.