mental health Video Resource

Chronic pain and the body-mind connection



Chronic pain and the body-mind connection

Pain that lasts for 3 months or longer is called chronic pain. One in five Australians over the age of 45 have chronic pain. We experience pain when we
have an injury or illness. Pain usually improves when the injury or illness gets better, but some people continue to feel pain even when the original injury or illness has improved.

This is because there is a body-mind connection. Our nervous system communicates between our brain and body. In chronic pain this system is oversensitive and pain signals from the brain make the feeling of pain worse. The good news is that if we understand this, we can reduce our pain by moving and changing how we think about the pain.

There is no single cure for chronic pain but here are five things you can do to help manage chronic pain. Changing our thinking can really make a difference.

Try to think: this is a difficult situation that I can do something about rather than this is a disaster I am going to be an invalid for life.

Most chronic pain gets better if we move. Try some gentle stretching, or yoga, or walking, or swimming, and gradually increase the amount you move.

Learn some deep breathing exercises to help you relax and set aside time each day for a simple activity that is calming or makes you happy.

Try to be fully present and engaged in the moment and not distracted by thinking about the pain.

Chronic pain can make you feel lonely, so keep doing the things that connect you regularly with other people – family members, friends, people you work with, or share an interest or hobby with.



We thank all collaborators that contributed to the development, production, translation, promotion and dissemination of these videos.

CRE WaND expert panel (content creation and script development)Dr Mridula BandyopadhyayDr Karin HammarbergProfessor Jane FisherProfessor Martha Hickey, Professor Flavia Cicuttini, Dr Karin StanzelDr Helen Brown, Dr Heather Craig, and Ann Macrae

Media production companyPunchy Media

Research translation and dissemination partner: Jean Hailes for Women’s Health

Funding partnersVictorian Government – Department of HealthNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Women and Non-communicable Diseases: Prevention and Detection

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