The Cycle of Chronic Pain

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

Man sitting in bed, awake. Pain cycle in arrows around him. 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

It can be difficult to help care for a friend or family member with chronic pain. Talk to a health care provider or mental health professional who can help you learn how to care for yourself and your loved one in a healthy manner.



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