The level of pain experienced in PGP varies immensely between individuals as well as from day to day, and it can also depend on how long you have had this pain (please see our 'Acute or chronic pain?' page which explains this in more detail). It is often possible to manage pain effectively by combining 'hands-on' treatment, lifestyle changes (e.g. pacing activities) and pain relief medications.
What causes pain in PGP?
Most pain is caused by the irritation of joints, nerves or other tissues. PGP is often caused by stiffness at one joint causing another joint to become inflamed and painful, therefore it is important to try to find the cause of the pain and not just treat the symptoms alone. Of course, no matter what the causes, if you think you are in pain, you are in pain.
Treatment of pain in PGP
It is important to seek treatment from a manual therapist (for example, a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor) to make sure that any mechanical or joint cause of your pain is being treated, and that you are not just treating the symptoms when there is a treatable cause for those symptoms. Please see our 'Treatment' section for more information. Other forms of pain relief explained in this section of the website will complement any treatment you are receiving and make you feel more comfortable during and between treatments.
Pain can affect a person's:
- Physical health – decreasing strength and endurance, interrupting sleep and appetite.
- Relationships – when a loved one is in constant pain, they can seem like a different person.
- Outlook – it can lead to a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. It can rob a person of interest even in favourite activities.
You may find it helpful to read our 'Emotional impact of PGP' section to address any associated emotional or psychological symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Understanding the pain cycle
Don’t wait for pain to become a problem. The longer pain goes untreated, the harder it is to relieve.
Other pages in this section:
- Acute or chronic pain?
- Prescription-only medication
- Over-the-counter medication
- Alternatives to medication
Content reviewed and updated in 2017.