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Coping with pain

Bone pain is common in people with myeloma. Although the bones affected can vary from one person to another, most patients experience pain in the middle or lower back, the hips, and the ribcage.

Tips to help reduce pain and/or help you cope with it

  • Take prescribed painkillers regularly, or as required.
    • Try not to let the pain take hold before taking them, as they won't be as effective.
    • If you find your painkillers are not providing the relief they should, go back to see your doctor or nurse. There are many different pain-relieving medications available.  
  • Be honest with your doctor or nurse about any pain you may be experiencing.
    • Don't feel like you have to put on a brave face. Remember, your medical team is there to help you!
  • Learn to relax.
    • Meditation, visualization, relaxation, or a combination of these can be helpful in relieving pain, when practiced regularly.
  • Avoid worrying.
    • Anxiety and stress can make pain worse.
    • Find time to talk about your fears and worries with people who are close to you, or with your doctor.
  • Get a massage.
    • A gentle massage can help relax you and relieve your pain.
    • Choose an experienced therapist, and explain your situation to him or her.
  • Take your mind off the pain with a pleasant distraction.
    • Watch television or a favourite film, listen to music, chat with a friend, etc.
  • Apply heat or cold.
    • Hot water bottles and ice packs can be effective pain relievers. Wrap them in a towel before placing them on the skin.
    • The relief may be short-lived and you may need to alternate between hot and cold.
  • Make yourself comfortable.
    • The way you sit or lie down can affect your pain.
    • If you are uncomfortable, change positions or ask someone to help you, if required.
    • Consider comfort aids, like special v-shaped pillows for use in bed and when sitting.