Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital


Pain can be defined as:

“ unpleasant sensory and emotional experience that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, general health, psychological health, and social and economic wellbeing”


Pain is very complex and there are many reasons why your child might experience pain. There are also different types of pain.

We are all familiar with ‘acute’ pain which occurs as a result of an injury like a sprained ankle. This type of pain will normally have resolved within 3 months.

Acute pain

Chronic or persistent pain

Watch this video if you would like to know more about persistent or chronic pain.

Chronic persistent pain cycle. Poor sleep, fatigue and tiredness leads to reduced activities and school attendance which impacts relationships and causes low mood, anger and frustration

The diagram shows the impact that chronic pain can have on a child or young person. The pain can cause difficulty sleeping and the resulting tiredness impacts on school attendance and causes a reduction of activity which has an impact on relationships with friends and family and causes frustration and a low mood.

Coping with pain

The effects of sleep, stress, anxiety and depression (like in many other conditions) are closely linked to pain. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of pain as like a volume switch. There may be things that you find ‘turn up’ (or amplify) the volume of your pain, like certain movements, activities or when you are feeling stressed. 

Practicing strategies that can help us to cope with stress and help with wellbeing can also be helpful for managing pain too.

Useful links

volume switch

Understanding Persistent Pain

How to turn down the volume of persistent pain.

Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

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