Pain Education Toolkit

Rethinking Pain

These materials were developed by Oregon Health Authority, Providence Health & Services, and
Comagine Health.

Pain Education Toolkit Header

This toolkit provides education for patients, working together with their health care providers, on how
to improve their health and manage pain better through physical activity, sleep, nutrition, mood and
tapering. Patients decide what area or "domain" to focus on and what techniques they can employ to
improve their overall health and help with their pain.

How Pain WorksMoodMovement


Pain Education Handouts

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     How Pain Works: What is pain and how does it work?
     English | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese | Zhuang

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       MOOD: How does your mood and thought affect your pain?
       English | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese | Zhuang

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        MOVEMENT: Why does movement and activity help with pain?
        English | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese | Zhuang


Clipart Apple       FOOD: Why does the food you eat affect your pain?
       English | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese | Zhuang


Clipart sheep sleeping  SLEEP: How does getting better sleep help with pain?
  English | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese | Zhuang


Clipart of two pills, one oval and one circular     MEDICATION: Why reducing your pain medication can help with pain?
     English | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese | Zhuang


Picture of two pages of the Clinician's guide pdf

Clinician Tools

CLINICIAN'S GUIDE: Patient education on pain in one concise document.

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES: Reference information from the Pain Education Toolkit.







Patient Education Videos

Why does activity help with pain?
You may be worried that physical activity will make your pain worse, but movement can lessen your pain. Physical activity helps ease muscle stiffness and improves your mobility. It can also help control your weight, lift your mood, and help you sleep better.

How do mood and thoughts affect pain?
Positivity is is incredibly important in managing your pain. Positive thinking can help reduce negative feelings, pain, stress, and increase your motivation to make healthy choices.

How can food affect your pain?
Eating health and nutritious food is important for many reasons. A big benefit is that food can increase your energy levels. If you have more energy, you can make changes in other areas like sleep, physical activity, and your mood and mindset

Why does sleep affect pain?
Getting restful sleep can make you feel energized, more active, more social, and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods. Any of those improvements can help reduce your pain.

Why should I think about reducing my pain medication?
Reducing your pain medications may be the safest option for your pain management if:

  • Your pain isn't getting much better even with more pain medications.
  • The medication's side effects make it hard to function normally every day.
  • You are prescribed both opioids and other high-risk medications like benzodiazepines.
  • You have other health risks such as sleep apnea, pulmonary or lung disease, liver disease, renal disease, a tendency to fall, or you are over 65.