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Pain relief

A doctor with a girl in pain.

Everyone feels pain at some point, and nobody likes it. Besides the fact that it hurts, it can also make you feel tired, crabby, and sad.

It may sound strange, but sometimes pain is a good thing. It is a way for your body to let you know that something is wrong. For instance, if you touch a hot burner on the stove, pain lets you know very quickly to move your finger! If you feel pain inside your body, it might be a sign that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.

If you are in pain, tell your parents, doctor, or nurse. Nobody is going to think less of you or think that you're "weak." Be sure to let them know:

  • Where it hurts
  • How strong the pain feels (try using a scale from 1 to 10 to talk about your pain; use lower numbers for when it doesn't hurt as badly and higher numbers as the pain gets worse)
  • What the pain feels like (dull, stabbing, etc.)
  • What makes the pain worse
  • What makes the pain better
  • How long it lasts and how often it comes

Your doctor may give you medicine to help make the pain better. If your pain is severe or ongoing, your doctor might send you to a pain clinic, where a team of people (doctors, nurses, physical therapist, etc.) specialize in pain treatment. Besides taking medicine, there are other things you can do to help you feel better.

Tips for helping with your pain arrow top

Distraction. Try doing something to take your mind off of your pain, such as reading a good book, listening to music, or taking a warm bath. Ignoring pain like this is called "distraction," and it can sometimes help you feel better.

Imagery. Some people find that imagery is a good way to control their pain. Imagery is creating pictures with your imagination. Try closing your eyes and thinking of yourself in a place that you love, such as the beach or your own backyard. Think about all of the sounds and smells of your special place, and come back to this place whenever you need comfort.

Other things you can do to help your pain include:

  • Resting
  • Using dim lighting
  • Getting a massage
  • Applying a cold or warm pack
  • Wearing comfortable clothes
  • Putting a damp washcloth on your forehead
  • Breathing deeply or meditating
  • Stretching or gentle exercise


Content last reviewed February 16, 2011
Page last updated October 31, 2013