Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain refers to a pain that persists for a period of six months or more and can affect an individual's day to day life in many ways. Some of the most common effects of chronic pain include: reduced activity, poor-quality of sleep, fatigue, low mood and dependent behaviour. Due to the complexities of chronic pain, it can be very difficult for an individual to complete day to day activities such as washing, dressing, cooking and cleaning. Our Occupational therapists haveboth the skills and knowledge to assist an individual with chronic pain to succeed in completing these daily activitiesand increase their overall well-being.

Associated difficulties regarding Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can occur anywhere in the body and may originate from an initial trauma, injury, illness or infection. Some of the most common complaints experienced by those with chronic pain include:

Fatigue - poor quality sleep

Due to the chronic and persistent pain individual's experience, it can be extremely difficult for a good night sleep to be obtained. As a result of this extreme fatigue, everyday self-care activities such as brushing teeth, washing and dressing can become very challenging.

Our Occupational Therapists provide both fatigue and pain management treatments for individuals who experience chronic pain. Each one of these treatments educate individuals on how best to manage their condition and provide effective energy saving ways to complete everyday activities.

Depression - Low mood

Living with a chronic or long term pain can become a burden in everyday life and cause additional irritations. Depression is one of the most common psychological issues faced by individual's with chronic pain and can often complicate their condition. Depression in individuals with chronic pain can frequently go undiagnosed and because of this it is often left untreated.Depression can quickly escalate and affect many other areas of an individual's life for example:

  • Appetite
  • Activity levels
  • Self-esteem

Our Occupational Therapists are specially trained in carrying out cognitive assessments of mood. Depression and anxiety assessments allow the Occupational Therapists to measure an individual's anxiety and mood levels in relation to their current situation. Following a cognitive assessment our Occupational Therapistswill support individuals in managing their mood and anxiety levels much more effectively, whilst increasing their independence and participation in day to day activities.


Due to the extreme fatigue and chronic pain experienced, individuals may refrain from physical activities altogether and require an increased amount of rest. Withdrawal from physical activity however can result in unwanted side effects, such as weight gain and increased blood pressure. Although exercise can often increase pain in the moment of doing, it is also one of the best ways an individual can manage their pain.

Our Occupational Therapists provide a broad range of assessments which help identify suitable ways of increasing the levels of activity in an individual with chronic pain. Exercise does not need to consist of going to the gym or going on a 3 mile run. Our Occupational Therapists will change the way individuals think about exercise to include everyday activities such as climbing the stairs or putting the bins out to improve inactivity. As result individuals mood and activity levels will also increase.

Occupational Therapy Assessments for chronic pain

Occupational Therapy assessments provide an in depth understanding of the difficulties and everyday challenges an individual with chronic pain is experiencing.The gathering of information is a vital part of the Occupational Therapy process. Assessment allows our Occupational Therapist to analyse in great detail how chronic pain is impacting on an individual's everyday occupations. Following a chronic pain assessment, our Occupational Therapists will work together with the individual to create individualised goals which are then used to guide each of the therapy sessions. Our Occupational Therapy treatments can therefore be truly client-centred and tackle the issues that are associated with chronic pain.

Our Occupational Therapy assessment address many of the challenges faced by those with chronic pain. Assessments are completed for many reasons some of which are listed below:

  • To Identify difficulties
  • To priorities issues in order of importance
  • Observe individuals completing everyday activities
  • To analyse activities
  • To develop individualised treatment plans
  • To monitor progress

Our Occupational Therapy assessments are carried out by afully trained and experienced therapist andcan be completed on a one to one basis. There is also the option of completing assessments in the individuals own home or here in one of our clinics.

Suitable assessment for chronic pain include:

With the expert knowledge and skills acquired, our Occupational Therapists can provide practical solutions and educate individuals with chronic pain on how best to manage their condition. Our Occupational Therapists can offer a number of treatments such as aids and adaptations, fatigue and pain management and one on one therapy.

There are many benefits of receiving Occupational Therapy for those with chronic pain. For example our Occupational Therapist can help find practical, more energy conserving ways of completing everyday activities such as washing, dressing, combing hair and cleaning. This not only increases independence but will also reduce the levels of discomfort experienced.

Occupational Therapy Treatment for chronic pain

Our Occupational Therapists have the knowledge, skills and experience to improve function in individuals with chronic pain. Together with our therapists, individuals will create their own unique treatment plans in order to best suit their day to day activities. Overall Occupational Therapy will increases the independence of those with chronic pain.

Suitable treatment for people with chronic pain include:

Our Occupational Therapy provides both fatigue and pain management along with one to one treatment sessions in order to enhance an individual's participation in everyday activities.

Advice and Education

Our Occupational Therapists can provide individuals with chronic pain advice and education on grading activities. Grading activities is a method used by our Occupational Therapists and involves breaking an activity down into its smaller components, making it a lot more manageable for individuals to complete them successfully. Activity grading for those with chronic pain can increase their independence in everyday activities such as dressing and washing but also assist with pain management.

Aids and Adaptations

Individual's functional abilities can be improve through the use of aids and adaptations. Our Occupational Therapists can assess and provide individual's with chronic pain appropriate equipment to support their participation in everyday activities such and washing, dressing, cooking and cleaning. Although there is a wide variety of aids and adaptations available, it is advised that individuals seek professional advice prior to purchasing any aids or adaptations, as some may not be suitable and create further impairment to the individual.

Fatigue management

Our Occupational Therapists offer effective fatigue management techniques to individuals with chronic pain, to enable them to engage in activities they find meaningful. One method adopted by our Occupational Therapists involves rating your fatigue levels at different times of the day and in relation to different activities. Through doing this, it allows individuals to identify changes in their levels of fatigue and manage it more much effectively, enabling them to complete activities of daily living independently.

Pain Management

Dealing with intense ongoing pain can be extremely disabling and can limit an individual's levels of involvement in everyday activities. Our Occupational Therapists can provide individuals with effective strategies to enable them to manage their pain more successfully. There is a wide range of techniques adopted by our Occupational Therapists some of which include, breathing and counting techniques, positive imagery and altered focus. All of which aim to improve an individual's ability to cope with pain more effectively.

One to one treatment

One to one therapy is very effective and provides individuals with an opportunity to discuss their needs in more detail. Communication between therapists and individual can be more open, allowing the therapists to gather relevant information in greater detail. This in turn will ensure therapy goals enhance an individual's abilities and improve their quality of life.

Home Visits

Home visits enable our Occupational Therapists to analysean individual's home environment and provide accurate recommendations for home adaptations to be made, in order to increase an individual's participation in activities of daily living. Home visits can be extremely beneficial to those with chronic pain and will not only increase an individual's independence but also their life satisfaction.

Conditions commonly associated with chronic pain

Chronic pain can occur anywhere within the body and can be a very disabling condition. Our Occupational Therapists can actively assess and treat individuals with:

This is not an exhaustive list of conditions, but is that of just a small sample. Our Occupational Therapists have the knowledge and skills needed to treat many conditions associated with chronic pain.

Providing both support and advice our Occupational Therapists will created individualised treatments plans to best meet the needs of each and every individual.


Our Occupational Therapists address the issues thathinder your ability to complete the activities that are important, including those that allow you to be independent in taking care of yourself and those activities that provide great satisfaction. Our Occupational Therapists instil that all important purpose of life and develop treatment plans to suit each and every individual.

What to do next:

Our Occupational Therapist will provide effective assessment and ongoing treatment of chronic pain. If you think that you would benefit from Occupational Therapy, then please email us at or call us on 02033 937 332



London OT offer and provide a range of Occupational Therapy services for individuals with a variety of conditions.

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