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Medicines are often used for persistent pain and may give valuable relief. They are just one of the many tools in our 'toolbox' and you should use them alongside all of the other tools. The aim should be to use the minimum amount of medicines needed to allow you to increase your general activity and exercise.

It takes time and a great deal of effort to learn these self-help strategies - but they can often help considerably in making life more manageable. It is difficult to do this on your own. You may need help from the Pain Clinic, a book about managing pain or you may need to go on a Pain Management Programme.