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The Cycle of Chronic Pain

Pain affects your life. Your sleep, mood, activity, and energy level can be disrupted by pain. Being tired, depressed, and out of shape makes the pain worse and harder to cope with. So a “pain cycle” begins.

Pain cycle. Sleep: Pain and anxiety make it hard to sleep. Lack of sleep makes pain worse and decreases energy. Mood: Chronic pain and limits it puts on life can lead to depression, anger, and anxiety. These feelings make coping with pain harder. Activity: Pain and lack of energy make it hard to be active. Lack of exercise worsens pain. Energy: Coping with pain drains energy. Lack of energy makes it hard to be active and stay in shape.

Note for family and friends

You may be involved in the pain cycle without knowing it. You may be urging your loved one to do things that worsen pain, such as staying up late. Or you may be encouraging inactivity by waiting on the person too much. Ask how you can help break the pain cycle.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 6/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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