Pain reduction expectations?

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by Guest Posts on Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:33 am

Pain reduction expectations?

On behalf of our guest visitor, Jeni:
I was told by my Chronic Pain Clinic practitioner that a 20% reduction in chronic pain from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis was a good result. Surely in this age of modern analgesics and better understanding of the pain process, we should be aiming for 100%, is this unrealistic and if so why?
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Dr Sandeep Bawa
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by Dr Sandeep Bawa on Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:04 pm

Re: Pain reduction expectations?


We always aim for 100%, but because many patient present late with these conditions, their outcomes become very variable. The best results are obtained from those who present early.

How any one individual perceives their pain and manages it varies considerably. There is unfortunately no magic pill for chronic pain - a lot depends on how well an individual accepts and manages their condition.

Hope this helps

Dr Bawa
Dr Sandeep Bawa
Consultant Rheumatologist - MBChB, MRCP, MSc (Sports Exercise Medicine) ... p_bawa.php

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by wendygreen on Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:55 pm

Re: Pain reduction expectations?


While it's good not to have overly high expectations, I feel it's also important not to set the bar too low for any goal. Perhaps a better aim would be to reduce your pain as much as possible - rather than attaching any arbitrary figure to it?

Also, various studies have recently shown that pain killers aren't really the answer to long-term pain - many have been found to be no more effective than a placebo and they tend to have unwanted side effects. In my own experience it's better to make lifestyle changes to manage your pain rather than relying on drugs - though of course there will be times when you need to take them.

If you follow the lifestyle advice that's been given in this clinic regarding managing the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia there's a good chance you'll experience a noticeable reduction in pain.

Below is an overview of the key steps to managing these conditions and reducing your pain levels:


Keep your weight down.

Monitor your posture.

Take regular gentle exercise like walking, yoga or swimming.

Seek advice from a physiotherapist regarding specific exercises to ease your particular symptoms.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet containing oily fish, fruit and veg, olive & rapeseed oils, nuts & seeds & spices.

Try supplements like ginger, turmeric, chilli, glucosamine or chondroitin.


Take regular gentle exercise.

Pace yourself - alternate mental & physical activities & rest in between, to avoid overtaxing yourself.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet as described above & in my other posts.

Eat dairy foods & nuts & seeds, as they supply calcium & magnesium - a shortage of these minerals has been linked with common fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain, fatigue, headaches & insomnia.

Manage stress by taking regular time out to relax.

Please read some of my other posts for more information on each of these recommendations.

I hope this helps.

Wendy Green
Health Expert & Author - BSc (Hons) Health Studies ... _green.php

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